Skip to main content

Full text of "The Art of Thinking"

See other formats


Google 



This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 



I 



FHO^VI THE IIBRAHY OF ^ 

ROBERT MARK \VEMJ:Y 

PRCirEssoR or PMH-tiioPHv 



cirEssoR or pmh-oi 
189 n " \tt.9 




3f 










r 



I 



<• NOTHING SUCCBBDS LIKB SUCCESS** 

THE ART OF SUCX:ESS 



BY 

T. SHARPER KNOWLSON 

(Eleventh Thousand) 

In mall crown 8iro, cloth gilt, gilt top, flat bade 

Also issued in 
A Popular Edition in Paper Corera 

Enoouraged bv the hearty reception of '* The Art 
of Thinking/* Mr. Knowlson has since written a snp- 
plementarTTolnme called " The Art of Snocess/' whidi 
u intended as a guide to action as the former volume 
was a ^ide to thought. 

Having defined success,^ the author devotes no fewer 
than five diapters to a discussion of man and his en* 
yironment in relation to distinctive achievements. It 
is shown that much depends on the abilities and char- 
acter of the man ; and stress b laid upon moral qualities 
jn particular. Luck, originality, limitations, and the 
increasing difficultr of success, are idl dealt with at 
length. Practical illustrations of successful action are 
made to prove that vital interest in on^s work is the 
grtett secret. 

In giving advice, little has escaped the author's ob- 
servation : he pleads for everything — from a shiny pair 
of boots and a sense of humour, to the value of tact 
and the need of proficiency in arithmetic. 



AT ALL BOOKSELLERS 
Full Prospectus on application to the Publishers 

FREDERICK WARNE AND CO. 

London New York 

15 Bedford St., Strand 36 East aand Street 



CP^Zf 



THE ART 
OF * • 
THINKING 




THE ART OF THINKING 



«« Ol Ol 



» BY 



tVsharper ^nowlson 



yiverg est ccgitan 
To think is to live 

Cicero, Tuu, Quasi, v. 38 



TWENTY-THIRD THOUSAND 
(revised and enlarged) 






LONDON 
FREt)ERICK WARNE AND CO. 

AND NEW YORK 
1904 

{Ai/ rights restrved) 






♦ ^ 













PREFACE 



vs TO THE REVISED 1904 EDITION 

It is gratifying to observe that students and 
general readers are still interested in this 
little book as a body of suggestions for 
mental improvement; and its growing popu- 
larity may, I venture to think, indicate that 
the people for whom it was written find more 
practical utility in its pages than some of 
my reviewers were prepared to admit. I 
have been accused of attempting the im- 
possible, as if a School of Thought was an 
idea too irrational for even a moment's con- 
sideration. Artists and musicians are said 
to be born, not made, and yet no one com- 
plains that a School of Music, or a School 
of Art, is in itself an absurdity. Why should 
a School of Thought, created specially for seri- 
ous students, be regarded as a superfluity? 
If mind-training be such a Utopian task, why 



vi PREFACE TO REVISED EDITION 

do universities and colleges spend money 
in teaching Logic and Mental Science ? The 
fact is, education, in the future, will resolve 
itself more and more into a policy laid down 
on the lines of this manual ; in other words, 
the science of teaching will be concerned 
with the developing of the powers of the 
mind, rather than with the mere imparting 
of facts. At present education is in the 
hands of those who follow the latter ideal, 
but signs are not wanting that their hold 
is loosening; and soon we may see people 
anxious, not so much for education, or know- 
ledge in bulk, as for tutored senses and 
trained minds. 

In this edition of The Art of Thinking 
there is an additional chapter on "The 
Commercial Value of Trained Intelligence"; 
several changes have been made in the 
books recommended; and a new Appendix 
has been added dealing with later books of 
a suitable character. 



PREFACE 

TO THE FIRST EDITION 

A SHORT time ago one of our most distinguished 
statesmen, in giving an address on education, 
said: ''What you want to develop in your 
race is the art of thinking, and thinking is 
an art wWch stands a very good chance of 
perishing from amongst us altogether. The 
risks to which independent thinking is exposed, 
when you come to reckon them up, are mani- 
fold and dangerous. I think the Press, with 
all its merits, is one of the greatest enemies 
of independent thinking." If by the Press we 
are to understand newspapers, magazines, and 
cheap literature, then we shall be in substantial 
agreement with this opinion. People read a 
great deal more than they used to do — there is 
more to be read — ^but they think less. The 
chief danger to-day is that of intellectual 



vu 



B 



viii PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION 

apathy. Life is so complex, the struggle for 
existence so keen, and pleasures of various 
kinds are so cheap and abundant, that men 
and women seem to live entirely on the sur- 
face of things. What we need is a call to 
independent thought. It is as a small contri- 
bution to supply this need that the author 
puts forth this little volume. In every other 
respect it will, he hopes, explain itself. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTION 

Time for Thinking — Thinking for 'Riinking's Sake — 
Wanted : more Thinkers — ^Thought Creation — Thought 
Control — The Programme for Beginners — ThiAkmg 
and Digestion pp. i-9 

CHAPTER II 
THE THINKING FACULTY 

Unity of Mind — Feeling, Intellect, Will — Innate Know- 
ledge — Three Laws of Thought — Healthy Intro- 
spection pp. 10-16 

CHAPTER III 

THOUGHTS AND HOW TO GATHER THEM 

Observation in Fiction Writing — The Culture of Obser- 
vation — What is Reflection? — Reading — Thinkers v. 
Readers — Social Intercourse — Travel . pp. li^-33 

CHAPTER IV 

STUDIES IN PREJUDICE 

Active Prejudice — Passive Prejudice — Prejudice of Birth 
and Nationality — Prejudice of Temperament — Prejudice 
of Theorists — Prejudice of Unintelligent ConserViatism 
— How to deal with Prejudice . . -pp. 34-58 

IX 



t 



X CONTENTS 

CHAPTER V 

THOUGHT AS INFLUENCED BY EMOTION 

The Twofold Influence of Emotion — Fear — Pride — 
Sympathy — Admiration — Influence of Feeling — 
Emotion considered Philosophically — Problems for 
Solution — Character Studies . . • PP* 59-^2 

CHAPTER VI 
GENERAL RULES FOR CLEAR THINKING 

The Nature and Value of Method — The Art of Concen- 
tration — The Laws of Evidence — The Art of Distinc- 
tions — The Correct Use of the Principle of Authority — 
The Importance of Using Correct Phraseology 

pp. 83-106 

CHAPTER VII 

CONSTRUCTIVE THINKING 

The Art of Classification — Constructive Imagination — 
Generalisation — ^The Constructive Mood pp. 107-125 

CHAPTER VIII 

THOUGHT IN ITS MORAL ASPECTS 

The Substance of Thought — The Art of Happiness 

pp. 126-134 

CHAPTER IX 

THE COMMERCIAL VALUE OF TRAINED 

INTELLIGENCE 

Intelligence, ue. Brain and Senses — Training the Mind and 
Training the Eye — All-round Culture of Faculty — 
" Thinlung " for a Living pp. 1 35-141 

CHAPTER X 

CONCLUSION 

Thought Revival-r-Thought Production — General Rules 

pp. 142-146 



THE ART OF THINKING 

CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTION 

"It it aot amUtbm that MaJkit tkM hUtUtdaal 
wum, but a sort of virhii that d$Hgkts im bttmtt' 
fiU and vigonms thit^hmg, just as moral virtas 
deUgkts •» vigorous and beautiful conduct." 

Hamxrton : The Jntslkctual Lift. 

'' And friendi when dost thee think ? '' was the 
reply made by a Quaker lady to whom Southey 
had explained with no little satisfaction nm^ |^ 
how he spent the day. He told her w^taking 
how he studied Portuguese grammar whilst he 
was shaving, how he read Spanish for an 
hour before breakfast, how, after breakfast, 
he wrote or studied till dinner ; how in a word, 
his whole time was filled by writing, reading, 
eating, talking, taking exercise and sleeping; 
and she replied with the very pertinent 



t THE ART OF THINKING 

question we have just given. It is one we 
should ask ourselves. Profound students of 
the times tell us that we are great absorbers of 
print, but that the art of thinking is gradually 
becoming a lost art. ** Thinking for thinking's 
sake/' says the Spectator in an article 

for think- to which we are here indebted, ''has 
become to most men positively repellent. 
They have an intense objection — ^an objection 
which th^y believe on the whole to be a laud- 
able one — to time passed not in eating, sleeping, 
working, talking, reading, writing, or taking 
exercise." There is much truth in this conten- 
tion, although we do not share its pessimism 
to the full. What we want is not the example 
of Democritus, who put out his eyes that, 
ceasing to read, he might think the more; 
or the example of Pythagoras, who devoted 
his evenings to solemn reflections on the 
events of the day. We want men and women 
of all-round activities who will set apart an 
hour for thought's own sake, and thus fulfil 

. _ the exhortation of a wise man whose 

Soptyoap 
thoughts and practice it was to "sort his thoughts 

and label them." Such a habit would 

not only be good in itself: it would increase 



THE ART OF THINKING s 

mental eflSdency in every department of life. 
Madame Swetchine says that to have ideas is 
to gather flowers ; to think is to weave them 
into garlands. There could be no happier 
synonym for thinking than the word weaving 
— a putting together of the best products 
of observation, reading, experience, and travel, 
so as to represent a patterned whole, re- 
ceiving its design from the weaver's 
own mind. We have plenty of flowers : more 
we want more garlands. We have 
libraries, books, and newspapers: we want 
more thinkers. 

Now this manual is intended to help those 
who are awakened to an individual sense of 
the need just stated ; and it is very necessary 
at the outset that the writer and reader should 
thoroughly understand each other. First, then, 
what is our object ? 

(i) It is to investigate the rules and prac- 
tices in which the art of thinking con- our otjMt 
sists. This will require a brief account "tated. 
of the thinking faculty. It is not proposed to 
make a detailed study of brain from a physicn- 
logical point of view ; all that is necessary is a 
description of mental powers under the familiar 



4 THE ART OF THINKING 

forms of FeeKng, Intellect, and Will. This 
will lay a good foundation for further study; 
for it is well nigh impossible to understand 
the art of thinking without some acquaintance 
with the machinery of mind. 

We shall then inquire into the way in which 
Thought thoughts are generated ; in other words, 
epeatton. j^q^ ^Jj^ intellectual storehouse is fur- 
nished with suitable materials. Apart from 
those ideas which seem to be ours by natural 
heritage, most of our thoughts arise from obser- 
vation, reading, reflection, social intercourse, 
and travel These will be considered separately 
.and collectively. The next point is to know 
how to direct and control our thoughts. In 
this connection we shall discuss the power of 
Thouffht prejudice, the influence of emotion, and 
eontPoL ^ series of general rules for clear think- 
ing. The importance of these chapters can 
scarcely be over-estimated. Mental drill here 
begins in earnest, and we shall ask the diligent 
reader to overhaul his own notions and ideas 
as well as those he reads in books or hears 
from the platform and pulpit. In the last 
three chapters we propose dealing with con- 
structive thinking — the way in which thoughts 



THE ART OF THINKING S 

are united into systems, theories, and bypo^ 
theses — ^with thought in its moral aspects, and 
with a concluding account of thfe entire pro- 
gramme. Perhaps it would be best to give a 
formulated scheme : 

L What is ih$ Mini? 

(a) Trinity in Unity. Feeling, InteUect. and WiU. 
(h) The Laws of Thought. 
n. How do W9 gatim Thoughts? 

(a) Some are part of the mind's original fnmitore. 

(b) From observation, reading, reflection, social 

intercourse, and travel. 
ni. By what wnans do w$ tlwi^h contcUy ? 
'{a) The true place of emotion. 

(b) Beware of the prejndice of birth, of tempera- 
ment, of the theorist, and of onintelUgent 
conservatism. 

(c) Avoid emotional excesses in fear, sympathy, and 
admiration. 

/(tf) Learn the nature and value of Method. 
(#) Acquire the art of Concentration. 
{/) Study carefully the laws of Evidence. 
(g) Tutor the mind in the art of drawing dis- 
tinctions. 
^ (A) Use and do not abuse the principle of authority, 
(t) Define your terms and beware of the treaehery 

of words. 
0) Remember the close connection between health 
and clear thinking. 
IV. WhatUthiordiTo/Thought'Buiiibtg? 
(a) Be sure of your fects. 
{b) Classify scientifically. 
M Obssrve the Umits of reasoning by analogy. 



I 
I 

2 



1 



< THE ART OF THINKING 

{d) Cultivate the Constrnctive Imaginatioii. 
(#) Master the rules of generaliiation. 
(/) Particular cases. 
V. Th$ Ethics of Thinking. 

{a) Imagination and Prejudice. 
(5) Mental occupation and happiness. 
{c) The intellectually vicious may be morally wrong. 
(d) Thinking that is dangerous to character. 
VI. Trained Intelligence in Business, 

VII. Conclusion and Summary, 

That the programme is somewhat ambitious 
we are quite ready to admit, but let it be re- 
membered that we are addressing ourselves to 
the beginner, and not to the practised thinker. 
We have in mind the youth who has just 
finished his studies at school, and the young 
man in business who desires a guide in the 
formation of his opinions. If we can influence 
these so that they become independent thinkers, 
such as are wisely receptive but not critically 
blind, we shall have accomplished our aim. . 

(2) We begin by studying the elementary 
principles of psychology and logic. The psy- 
^ ... * chologist's chief question is : How do we 

Our debt to ^^ ^ 

Psyehoionr ordinarily think ?* He makes an inquiry 

^ ^ into the nature of mental processes. The 

logician's chief question is : How can we think 

* Sully, The Human Mind, vol. iL 



THE ART OF THINKING y 

correctly? He is concerned with regulating or 
controlling mental operations according to some 
standard of correctness. Now we shaU ask 
both these questions referred to, and yet this 
manual is neither a text-book of psychology 
nor a system of logic ; it is rather a blending 
of contributions from both, and we shall be 
under obligations to the psychologist for 
telling us how the mind works, and to the 
logician for showing us how it works correctly. 
Some may doubt the possibility of writing even 
a short treatise -on the art of thinking with 
such slender assistance as we propose to have 
from the two great departments of mental 
science. The doubt is natural but mistaken. 
Professor Blackie says: "Have your Biaekieon 
thinking first and plenty to think about, thinking, 
and then ask the logician to teach you to 
scrutinize with a nice eye the process by which 
you have arrived at your conclusions."* In a 
similar vein Professor Seth affirms *' that the 
theory of every operation is later than its per- 
formance, and men were accustomed to xn^ Ppofas- 
think correctly long before they began to "^^ ^®^* 
reflect on their thinking faculties and the pro- 

• S§lf-Culturt p. 9. 



8 THE ART OF THINKING 

cesses by which their results were reached."* It 
would be foolish to undervalue logic and psy- 
chology, and the references throughout this book 
will show how much we are indebted thereto. 
Nevertheless we are attempting to teach men 
how to think without first teaching the science of 
mind, or the rules of syllogistic reasoning. And 
we venture to believe there is a sufficient justi- 
fication in view of the selected type of reader, 
and of the limitations we have voluntarily 
chosen. A man can digest food well without 

Thinkins and ^^Y knowledge of the processes of diges- 
digMtion. tiQjj . j^jj J ^ m^Q ^jjm think well — ^in the 

sense we have explained — without necessarily 
studying a two-volumed work on feeling, intel- 
lect, and will, or a large tome on the four 
« figures of Aristotle. Broadly speaking. Psy- 
chology is descriptive/ Logic is regulative; 
Thinking is creative. / 

We propose further to make these studies 

educational in the exact sense of the term. 

Bare puIm Mere rules, bald and bare, are not of 

insuffleiant. great service. " A meagre soul can never 

be made fat, nor a narrow soul large by studying 

* Aft. : Logic, Chamhin* Bneydopadia. 



THE ART OF THINKING 9 

rules of thinking." * We have, therefore, en- 
deavoured to accompany rules with examplesi 
or, if the subject be difiScult to illustrate, with 
such suggestions as will be a good equivalent 
By the fulfilment of the scheme in its entirety 
we hope to answer the question : How shall I 
become a thinker ? 

* BUckie, Self-Culturt, p. 9. 



CHAPTER U 

THE THINKING FACULTY 

" The mind can mak$ 
Substance, and people planets of its own 
With beings brighter than have been, and give 
A breath to forms that can outlive all flesh.** 

Byron. 

Writers on mental science have been ac- 
customed to divide the powers of mind into — 
The unity (0 Feeling, (2) Intellect, (3) Will This 
of mind, jo^g jjQt niean that there arc three 

minds, one of which feels, a second knows, and 
a third wills. The mind is not a material object 
that can be separated into distinct parts so that 
you can have brain action with intellect and 
will, but with no feeling ; or with feeling with- 
out intellect and will. This division of mental 
powers is intended to show that there are 
three kinds of consciousness, but each kind 
is more or less represented in every Intel- 



THE ART OF THINKING ii 

lectual action.* We distinguish a thought 
from a feeling, and each of these from a , ^_. .^ ^ 

^' In trtnttf of 

volition or act of will. But in the last faeiinff, Intel- 
analysis, every thought is found to have ^ 
a tincture of feeling and will, every feeling has 
its modicum of thought and volitioUi and there 
is no act of will in which there is not know- 
ledge and emotion. 

(a) We will show first of all how knowledge 
— the fruit of " intellect/' placed second in the 
trio — ^is connected with feeling and will. ... 

^ FMltaiff and 

Let us suppose you are about to study wiu in know- 
a proposition in Euclid. There is a story 
told about a boy who was so delighted with the 
reasoning of Euclid that he used to pursue the 
arguments with considerable warmth of feeling 
and great wealth of gesticulation. The teacher 
reproved him by saying : '' Euclid knows Bgeu^ i^^ 
no emotion." Now the psychologist has •™o^®»* 
more sympathy with the scholar than with the 
teacher. To understand a problem in geometry 

* "Yet while knowing, feeling, and willing, are ihxa 
broadly marked off from, and even opposed to, one 
another, they are in another way closely connected. A 
mind is .... an organic nnity made up of parts standing 
in the closest relation of interdependence." — Sully, Hand 
hooh of Psychology, p. 44. 



19 THE ART OF THINKING 

a certain amount of feeling is nectssaryi ** for 
unless the mind were affected in some way by 
the problem itself, it would not come within 
the mind's sphere of knowledge at alL Know- 
ledge depends on feeling; that feeling which 
any object or truth is able to excite in the 
^ _.., mind."* And since the attention is 

The win 

direets and directed and concentrated, we see that 
the understanding of a geometrical 
problem necessitates an act of will. Hence 
in mathematics, the sphere of the abstract, 
there is the presence of feeling, intellect and 
wOl. Lotze says : ** Even the simplest and 
apparently driest notions are never quite 
destitute of this attendant feeling; we cannot 
grasp the conception of unity without ex- 
periencing a pleasant satisfaction which is part 

of its contents." t ' 

(b) It is likewise true that when we examine 

our feelings we find they contain much of what 

Thought and ^^ Otherwise called thought. Those 

wUiinfMiinff. people who are continually setting up 

reason over against emotion as a guide to 

conduct, may be surprised to learn that the 

* Daw«y, Psjfchohgy, p. i8. 
t Micro€Osmu$, VOL L p. 243. 



THB ART OF THINKING 13 

psychologist speaks of logical and mteikchtal 
feelings. To what do these terms mtanaetiiai 
point? To the fact that emotions are ^••Mns*- 
not so empty and transient as many suppose 
them to be. Lowell says : 

All thought begins in foding— -wido^ 
In the great mass its base is hid, 
And narrowing up to thought stands glorified* 
A moyeless pyramid. 

Our emotions are full of intellectual character^ 
and ^'connected with art, with morals, with 
scientific investigation, with religion, they are 
incomprehensible without constant reference 
to the objects with which they are concerned.''* 
And here again the controlling agency is that of 
will. 

(c) Further, an act of will involves knowledge 
and feeling. I determine to sell my ^ 

° -^ Knowledge 

business; that implies an end in view andfeeung 
which to me is a matter of knowledge ; 
and since it is an end I desire it is bound thus 
far to be a matter of feeling. 

Hence although for purposes of convenience 
we distinguish a thought from a feeling, and 
each of these from an act of will, there is a 

• Dewey, Psychology, p. 2a 



14 THE ART OF THINKING 

unity in all mental action ; and thoroughly to 

comprehend this is the first matter of importance 

in studying the thinking faculty. 

The next point to be considered is the know- 

" Innate" Icdge which the mind contains apart 

knowledge, fj-^j^ experience. A few words will 

make this plain. Take that familiar axiom : 
things that are equal to the same thing are 
equal to one another. If X is equal to Y, and 
Z is also equal to Y, it follows that X is equal 
to Z. How do we know that? It is self- 
evident ; which means that it is a truth we did 
not learn from experience; it is part of the 
mind's original furniture. Our best plan of pro- 
cedure lespecting these truths will be to avoid 
technical discussions and take a simple state- 
ment of facts such as may be found in Jevons's 
Logic,* He says there are three necessary 
Three laws ^^^^ of thought. The first — (i) is the 
oftiioufirht. Law of Identify ; whatever is, is. Every- 
thing is identical with itself. The second 
(2) is the Law of Contradiction; Nothing can 
both be and not be A piece of paper may 
be blackened in one part while it is white in 

* Logic, p. 117. See also St. George Mivart's Pkilo- 
iofhktU Catichism. 



THE ART OF THINKING 15 

Other parts; or it may be white at one time 
and afterwards become black ; but we cannot 
conceive that it should be both white and black 
at the same time and place. The third (3) law 
is the Law of Excluded Middle, Everything 
must either be or not be. This law may easily 
be misunderstood and consequently misapplied, 
but its general meaning is to point out the im- 
possibility of a middle course. The answer 
must be Yes or No. Gold must be either 
white or not white; a line must be either 
straight or not straight. Now, if we examine 
these three laws of thought, we see at once 
that they require no proof; they are self- 
evident. Too much cannot be said in favour 
of a clear comprehension of those first truths 
of which they are an expression. 

A full treatment of the subject of this chapter 
demands a section on the train of ideas, and 
another on the laws of association ; but space 
forbids. The relation of brain to mind is out- 
side our province altogether. 

Plan of study. 

(i) Read 

Baldwin, The Story of the Mtnd(iityfn^s). 
Granger, Psychology (Methuen). 



i6 THE ART OF THikKING 

Jevons, Elementary Logic^ chap. xiv. 

(Macmillan). 
Locke, Essay on the Human Understand^ 

ing^ ** Innate Ideas " (Clar. Press). 

(2) The habit of introspection should be 
cultivated assiduously, and yet not to the 

Healthy In- point of being morbid. Examine the 
(rospeetion. actions of your mind during the last 
grief you had. Soon you will be able to 
classify the phenomena, for as you narrate 
what took place the expressions come naturally 
to your lips. " I felt ; " " I thought " ; then I 
determined. Thus your own analysis will re- 
veal feeling, intellect, and wiU in their unity. 
Follow up the subject by a careful study of 
the three words themselves, and the uses they 
have served throughout a long history. 

(3) Read the section in Janes's Human 
Psychology (Baker Taylor and Co., N.Y.) on 
" Necessary Elements of Perception ; " and 
along with these more abstract studies, the 
intuitional writers in poetry and prose, of 
which Browning, Tennyson, and Emerson are 
good representatives. Of course Shakespeare 
will be remembered, and the better-class writers 
of fiction should not be forgotten. 



CHAPTER III 

THOUGHTS, AND HOW TO GATHER THBM 

" A thinking man i$ tk$ wont tmmy ik§ 
Ptina of Darkness can Aow/'^Carlylb. 

Having dealt with the nature and contents of 
the thinking faculty so far as these are con- 
cerned with our purpose, we now propose to 
consider thought-production. Of course there 
is a sense in which the gathering of thoughts 
needs no consideration; it is an unconscious 
operation of every human mind. Our aim is 
simply to point out those methods by the 
observance of which the wiUing learner may 
reap an abundant harvest of facts and ideas. 
We refer to observation, reflection, reading, 
social intercourse, and travel. 

(i) The importance of observation as an 
avenue to the increase of knowledge, is ObMrvaUoa 
made most clear when we study the mental 



i8 THE ART OF THINKING 

growth of a child. Perez has told us in a 
delightful book * how the infant comes to re- 
cognise the me and not-^ne, and Tennyson has 
put this psychology into music when he says 

The baby new to earth and sky 
What time his tender palm is pressed 
Against the circle of the breast, 

Has never thought that " this is I." 

But as he grows he gathers much, 
And learns the use of I and me ; 
And finds I am not what I see, 

And other than the things I touch. 

As with children, so with older people; we 
enlarge our mental boundaries by observation. 
A great deal of course depends on natural 
capacity. There arc men who are all " eyes " ; 
nothing escapes them, and where others find 
things duU and monotonous, they find life 
throbbing with interest. Upon such expert 
observers there is always a premium. Take the 
iDieienee. two divergent spheres of Science and 
Fiction. " A great science has in many cases 
risen from an accidental observation. Erasmus 
Bartholinus thus first discovered double re- 
fraction in Iceland spar ; Galvani noticed the 

* Thi First Three Years of ChiUkood. " Naomi " in HaU 
Caine's Scapegoat is worth a clooe study. 



THE ART OF THINKING 19 

twitching of a frog's leg; Oken was struck by 
the form of a vertebra • • . . and Mains acci- 
dentally examined light reflected from distant 
windows with a double refracting substance 1 "* 
Astronomy is lai^gely an observational science, 
and that thrilling story which centres in the 
discovery of Neptune had its origin in the 
simple observation of an eccentricity in the 
motion of Uranus. Gravitation, Electricity in 
its many ramifications, Hypnotism and a host 
of discoveries in medicine are due to watching 
Nature in her methods of operation ; and truly 
did Bacon say in his first aphorism, " Man the 
servant and interpreter of Nature can do and 
understand as much as he has observed con- 
cerning the order of Nature in outward things 
or in the mind; more he can neither know 
nor do." 

The writer of Fiction owes much to obser- 
vation — not the scientific use of the faculty, 
for there is many a man with a lynx- ^^ 

"^ '' Observation 

eye for botanical similarities who is infletion- 
slow enough to observe the working of 
forces which govern society. The author of 
How io Write Fiction^ says, ''You may ask 

* Jevons, Prindflis of ScUnc$, p. 400. 



k^ THB ART OF THINKING 

our excursion to-day." * In this case observa- 
tion is accompanied by inference ; the eye sees 
pale cheeks, sunken eyes, and a lame walk; 
the mind infers that such are hindrances to 
joining the party. 

But by reflection we do not mean thinking 

in the exclusive sense of inference ; we mean 

Tw « V ft ^^c mind that is always asking the 

and the "why and wherefore " of things. Car- 

'* wherefore." j. i t^t r ^ . 

dinal Newman says of some seafaring 
men that they " find themselves now in Europe, 
now in Asia ; they see visions of great cities 
and wild regions; they are in the marts of 
commerce, or amid the islands of the South ; 
they gaze on Pompey's Pillar or on the Andes ; 
and nothing which meets them carries them 
forward or backward to any idea beyond itself. 
Nothing has a drift or relation ; nothing has 
a history or a promise." f Now it is this 
Newman on unreflective spirit which we should strive 
refleetion. ^^ avoid — a lazy contemplation of and 
acquiescence in the facts of life as fate or for- 
tune deals them out to us. 
Schopenhauer says somewhere that experi- 

* BmfMcMl Logii, p. zia. 
t IdM of §m UniwrsUy, p. 136. 



THB ART OF THINKING tj 

ence is our text and reflection is the commen- 
tary. It is to be feared that in this sense ^m^ jthopgo 
there are many lives made up of bare """"w- 
text; not a sign of query, note, or comment. 
Experience is full enough but it passes re- 
flection's sentry-box without a challenge. 

True reflection, however, is more than the 
drawing of inferences or musing upon what we 
have seen. It is such hard mental work as is 
necessary in examining a problem in ethics, 
the pros and cons of a commercial enterprise, 
or the possibility of life on the planet Mars. 
Spasmodic meditation is not of great service ; 
but deliberate and sustained reflection is highly 
educative and valuable as a means of increasing 
knowledge. 

Suggestions. What to do 

(a) Begin by reading the reflections of 

others. 
Main, Wise, Witty and Tender Sayings of 

George Eliot (Blackwood). 

Coleridge, Aids to Reflection (Routledge). 

Pascal, Thoughts (Routledge). 

Hare, Guesses at Truth (Macmillan). 

Helps, Friends in Council (Smith, Elder). 

Joubert's Thoughts (Allen). 



94 THE ART OF THINKING 

(b) Endeavour to get a true and certain 

knowledge of all that iB/undatnenMand central. 

For instance, an inquiry concerning the 

ftindamaiitai forces of life will yield profitable results. 

Beginning with an understanding of the 

forces of nature, we come to see that there are 

forces of another kind, namely, those that work 

study fbnes. in history* See Lotze's brilliant chapter 
in his Microcostnus. Then there are the forces 
of ideas and of custom. Religion, too, possesses 
peculiar powers. All these taken together 
afford a prolonged view of one of the great 
factors of progress, and to these more particu- 
larly the reflective mind should turn its atten- 
tion. Again: seek the bases of intellectual 
life by asking such a question as this : What 
are those truths in which the majority of men 
most unanimously believe ? Sometimes a 
single question is, for the student, the begin- 
ning of a new era. 

(3) Reading. — So much has been said of 
late years on this subject that were our purpose 

A speeiai kind general, and not particular, we should 

of reading, simply refer the reader to Mr. John 

Moriey, Sir John Lubbock, and Mr. Frederic 

Harrison. But since we have a special end in 



THE ART OF THINKING S5 

view, namely, reading which will help a man to 
become a ihmker, it may be pardoned us if we 
expound two rules, which, when observedi 
will accomplish that end. 

(a) Read critically. — Some authors have a 
style so lucid and clear, and a mind so subtle in 
its chain of sophistical reasoning, that the reader 
is carried away by rhetorical music, and caught 
in the snare of specious arguments. There 
are likewise authors whose style is their warninfft 
worst enemy ; men who have good thoughts, 
but cannot state them clearly and attractively, 
a fact which explains the perplexity of their 
readers. Emerson has such an oracular way of 
saying things, that some of his sentences are 
like decrees — an authoritative mannerism which [^ 
may completely dominate the uncritical mind. 
Now a really critical reader will first ask him- 
self what an author means. If the answer is 
speedily forthcoming, it is a testimony to the 
writer's perspicuity and a help to the reader's 
comprehension. Having discovered the 
author's meaning he will next value it — Le,, 
he will test its accuracy, its fairness, spMimen 
and its relation to other views on the ^•^o^« 
same subject. If the book be historical 



s6 THE ART OF THINKING 

he will inquire into the following particu- 
lars: — 
FoFiiistory. (i) Sources of the work: Period of 
History. 

(2) 'Style of writing : clear or obscure. 

(3) How authorities are used: manner of 

quotation. 

(4) Relation of the work to other theories 

of history. 

(5) As to its originality ; and 

(6) Its effect upon the public. 

And fletion. Or, if the book should be a novel or 
drama he would proceed to deal with 
(i) The subject-matter : plot. 

(2) Characters — ^Their qualities as persons, 

relative importance, relation to one 
another, contrasting characters, what 
each is intended to bring out. 

(3) Art in presenting scenes and characters. 

(4) Literary qualities. Technical consis- 

tency, phrasal power, and aesthetic 
" finish." 

(5) The underlying philosophy. 

Of course these are but indications (and to 
some readers perfectly obvious) of what we 
mean by critical reading. It is surprising to 



THE ART OF THINKING §7 

know how few people thoroughly master the 
books they buy, or those which they borrow 
from the circulating libraries; that is, Books thmad 
master by digestion and not by simple ^•■■••teped. 
appropriation; for in the latter case there is 
only an increase in the bulk of knowledge, in 
the former case there is an enlargement of the 
mental personality. And that way originality 
lies. 

(b) Read creatively, — ^We have borrowed the 
phrase from Emerson. " There is then creative 
reading as well as creative writing. Emononon 
When the mind is braced by labour and *«»**"«• 
invention, the page of whatever book we read 
becomes luminous with manifold allusion. Every 
sentence is doubly significant, and the sense 
of our author is as broad as the world.'' As if 
he had said : " When you read, connect the 
thoughts of the author with your previously 
ascertained knowledge; note the contrast or 
similarity ; if there be an advance upon your 
ideas, observe the place where your reflections 
fell short, and ask the reason why. Make an 
unstinting use of the laws of association. 
Notice how many things are contiguous that 
seem to be utterly separated; and how an 



t8 THE ART OF THINKING 

efFcct, in scorts of instanossi must seek ita 
cause in strange quarters." 

Gibbon tells us in his Autobiography how he 
proceeded to read a new book. '^ After glanc- 

Gibbon's ^°K ^V ^Y^ ^^^ ^^^ design and order of 
method. ^ q^^ book, I suspended the perusal 

until I had finished the task of self-examination ; 
till I had revolved in a solitary walk aU that I 
knew or believed, or had thought on the sub- 
ject of the whole work, or of some particular 
chapter. I was then qualified to discern how 
much the author added to my original stock, 
and I was sometimes satisfied by the agreement, 
sometimes armed by the opposition of our 
ideas."* The practice is an excellent one. 
And it may be supplemented with unspeakable 
advantage by another practice, a little more 
difficult of application. The aim of every reader 
Unify youp should be to unify his knowledge. There- 
knowiadffo. {q^^ i^ g^ch new bit of information, 

each new idea, be definitely '' placed. ** The 
hasty reader can go through one book on 
tret-cultivation, and another on life in large 
cities, without tracing any connection between 
foKage and the health of the people. He 



THE ART OF THINKING 19 

knows how elms are grown, and that fact is 
packed away in a mental compartment under 
lock and key; he also knows that city life 
in relation to the masses is a problem of in- 
creasing difficulty, and that fact is duly 
labelled and pigeon-holed; but he never fiMtsto- 
thinks of unifying the impressions of ** ^* 
both books by considering the people's need 
of pure air in relation to the carbonic-acid 
absorbing properties of foliage, and therefore 
the utility of trees in or near large cities. 

It is a good test of the value and sugges- 
tiveness of a book if it can do more for us 
than is, strictly speaking, within the scope 
of the author's aim; it is also a test Thinkers ▼. 
of our reading, and enables us to dis- "B«adeps.** 
tinguish thinkers from listless absorbers of 
print. 

Suggestions. 

(a) It is advisable to have some biblio- 
graphical guide at hand. Sonnenschein's Best 
Books (in two or more volumes) is a good 
series. Baldwin's The Book Lover is excellent, 
T'-Mason's Hotv to Excel in Study, and Bain's 
" Art of Study " in his Practical Essays should 
be read. 



30 THE ART OF THINKING 

(J?) For thought stimulation we recommend 
the following as a few of the many : — 

Buckle, History of Civilization (Richards). 
^***^ozley, On Miracles (Longmans). 
Amiel, Journal Intime (Macmillan). 
Dowden, Shakespeare : his mind and art (Kegan 

Paul). 
Wallace, Darwinism (Macmillan). 
Vaughan, English Literary Criticism (Blackie)- 
(4) Social Intercourse. — We refer more 
particularly to the advantages of intellectual 
Mind with society. Bacon says, " Conference makes 
°^*- a ready man." That is certainly an advan- 
tage to be sought after. How dull some learned 
men are 1 Better habits of conversation would 
have saved them from the tardy heavy manner 
which it is their misfortune to have. But it is 
not with the etiquette of conversation * that we 
have to do, or indeed with the advantage of a 
verbal readiness ; it is social intercourse as a 
The gaini of h&nrest time of thought and experience, 
•onvepsation. « j^ is said of Varilles that of ten things 
which he knew he had learned nine from con- 

* ** When two people are earnestly engaged on a really 
serious topic ... we need not intrude upon them any 
idle considerations as to their manner of treating it"— 
Maha£fy, Princiflis o/thi Art of Convirsation, p. 159. 



THE ART OF THINKING 31 

versation."* And it was Conference in the 
larger sense by which the Greek student in- 
creased his knowledge. Emerson remarks that 
''wise, cultivated, genial conversation is the 
best flower of civilization, and the best result 
which life has to offer us — ^a cup of the gods 
which has no repentance. Conversation is our 
account of ourselves. All we have, all we can, 
all we know is brought into play, and is the 
reproduction, in finer form, of all our havings." 
But there is another gain in conversation : 
its corrective power. There is a sort of men- 
tal exposure in talking to a companion ; itseorrMUve 
we drag our thoughts out of their po^«'« 
hiding-places, naked as it were, and occasionally 
we are not a little startled at the exhibition. 
Unexpressed ideas are often carefully cherished 
until, placed before other eyes as well as our 
own, we see them as they really are. Hence 
an hour's communion with a critical mind may 
be fraught with much consequence, especially 
if the matter under discussion be of practical 
import. One word of caution is needed. Da 
not make conversation a sort of drawing-room 
debating class, or spoil it by harping on mys- 

* Adams, Plain Living and High Thtnkiiigt p. 19, 



CHAPTER IV 

STUDIES IN PREJUDICE 

" A man can mon easily bum down kis 
own housi than git rid of his prtjudius, " 

Dbscartbs. 

The word '' prejudice " means a prejudgment, a 
prepossession, or, to use a dictionary definition, 
'' a bias or leaning, favourable or unfavourable, 
without reason, or for some reason other than 
justice." But definitions of " prejudice " 
nitioniof are seldom, if ever, satisfactory. Take, 
p u ee. j.^^ example, that of Isaac Taylor : " Pre- 
judices are unreasonable judgments formed or 
held under the influence of some other motive 
than the love of truth."* This is very inade- 
quate, for some of the most prejudiced men 
have the strongest love of truth, that is, so 
far as they understand it ; what we call their 

* Blmtnts of Thought 



THE ART OF THINKIKG 35 

bias, they themselves call a passion for the 
true. 

It may be said that prejudice exists in two 
forms: (i) active, and (2) passive. We will 
illustrate the first from the history of AttfTeand 
literary criticism. Did Shakespeare write i>"»*^*- 
the plays— -or most of them — ^which bear his 
name ? The majority of people say " Yes ; cer- 
tainly. Has the English intellect been fooled 
on so important a matter ? Is it possible that 
Shakespeare's contemporaries could have been 
deceived ? " Now if these people have 
never examined the arguments on the shake- 
other side, their position is clearly ■?J*^'* 
prejudiced, regarded intellectually, even 
though it may be the right one ; for they settle 
the matter simply on the ground of received 
opinion. But let us suppose that we are 
anxious to give the matter a fair hearing, 
and carefully examine the evidence for and 
against. Even then, if we sound our thoughts, 
we became aware of a silent drift of opinion in 
favour of either Shakespeare or Bacon. The 
irony of the situation is this : that whilst sabtiety of 
we are trying to avoid prejudice we p*^"***** 
are sufiering from its warping influence all the 



36 THE ART OF THINKING 

time, due no doubt to some quality of the mind 
which is the peculiar product of birth, tempera- 
ment, education, or the like. 

By active prejudice, then, we mean a specific 
instance of bias such as that previously re- 
ferred to; by passive prejudice we mean a 
condition of mind governed by influences which, 
unknown to us, predispose us towards certain 
theories of life and give colour to our views of 
evidence. It is with the second of these that 
we shall have most to do. Basil Montagu 
BUM says: "Of prejudice it has been truly 
ugu'8 de- said that it has the singular ability ot 
^ ^°* accommodating itself to all the possible 
varieties of the human mind. • • • Let the 
mind be as naked as the walls of an empty 
and forsaken tenement, gloomy as a dungeon, 
or ornamented with the richest abilities of 
thinking ; let it be hot, cold, dark or light, 
lonely or inhabited, still prejudice, if undis- 
turbed, will fill it with cobwebs, and live like 
the spider where there seems nothing to live 
on. 

It will greatly assist our understanding of 
this subject if we discuss those facts and forces 

* Thoughts on ike Condua o/tht UndirsUmimg, p. iSo. 



THE ART OF THINKING 37 

which, above all others, produce this deflection 
from the course of right thinking. 

(i) There is the prejudice of Birth and 
NationalUy. Education is said to raise a man 
above such a vulgarity as this. No doubt Birth and 
it does, but one's home and kindred is n»tioiiauty 
a fact the influence of which no education can 
totally eliminate. The present writer remem- 
bers a hot debate between an Englishman and 
a German respecting the merits of Shakespeare 
and Goethe: which was the greater man? 
The Englishman knew his Shakespeare well, 
but beyond Faiist and Wilhelm Meister he 
did not know much of Goethe: the German ▼. 
German knew Goethe from beginning to "n«*WL 
end, but his knowledge of Shakespeare was 
confined to Hamlet^ Coriolanus, and the Sonnets. 
The debate — an informal one — began by each 
man stating the case for his client : how great 
he was, how much he had written that was 
immortaL When the debaters came to com- 
pare the merits of both writers they failed for 
want of information, and naturally fell back 
upon patriotism. They parted in ap- paite 
parent good humour, each man being P*triotiim. 
convinced be was right. Said one within him* 



38 THE ART OF THINKING 

self: ''Shakespeare is better than any German 
who ever lived 1 " Said the other, " Goethe ? 
Ach 1 no Englishman like him I " 

It may be that the reader thinks he would 
never be caught in so pronounced a case as 
this, but it is surprising how the national 
sentiment — ^good in its place — warps our judg- 
ment of the merits of men and things beyond 
the shores of our native land. Think for a 
moment of the way in which English scientists 
in the eighteenth century treated the results of 
French research, disdaining them for no other 
French ▼. rcason than that they were French. 
Engiiih. When Adams and Le Verrier simul- 
taneously discovered Neptune there was a dis- 
position in England to strain the evidence for 
prior discovery in, favour of Adams; on the 
Continent there was a similar tendency to favour 
Le Verrier. A study of foreign politics and 
commerce will reveal an unwillingness to allow 
the national sentiment or prestige to suffer loss, 
even when the opposing party is in the 
"** denee of rig^t- I* is the sense of sound morality, 

jvstieeand ^nd of that justice which is as wide as 
truth. -^ 

the East is from the West, and irre- 
spective of race or creed, latitude or longitudei 



THE ART OF THINKING 39 

which will save us from the species of small- 
mindediiless sometimes known as "national 
honour." 

(2) There is also the prejudice of temperament 
By temperament we mean that individual Tempepanwiit. 
peculiarity of physical and mental organization 
by which the manner of acting, feeling, and 
thinking of each person is permanently affected. 
There are four temperaments, and since eveiy 
man must belong to one, or a compound of 
two or more, there is no escape from such 
influences in the formation of opinions: in- 
asmuch as our temperaments contain, as it 
were, so many prejudgments of important 
questions, that, given the type of man, one 
can almost prophesy his views on stated sub- 
jects. If, according to Buckle, climate can do 
so much to mould the life of man, so will 
temperament — man's mental climate — exert a 
like power in shaping his conclusions. 

(a) Take Asia and Europe — ^the mind of the 
East and of the West — and see how the isiauid 
intellectual '• build " of men predisposes ^"«^i»* 
them towards a particular system of thought. 
The Hindoo has little or no inclination for 
scientific exactness ; his is a world of medita- 



40 THE ART OF THINKING 

tion and introspection, and long ages of such 
life in his ancestry have unfitted him for any- 
thing else. On the other hand the European 
*w ». ^ has none of the Hindoo's submission 

The Hindoo 

and tbe to Fate or the gods : quick, active, inde- 
^ ' pendent, and with a strong instinct for 

progress, he is restless if not conquering in 
some sphere of knowledge, politics, or com- 
merce. There are truths against which the 
English mind is naturally prejudiced on ac- 
count of its intensely practical character ; the 
Oriental mind, because of its dreamy charac- 
teristics, is likewise prejudiced against other 
forms of truth. Of course it is easy to press 
this matter too far, but what we contend for 
is that the peculiar quality of physical and 
.... mental constitution will predispose men 

Tendeneies In '^ '^ 

theeonstitu- towards this theory and against that*; 

°* the danger being greatest when this 

predisposition is followed uncritically. Then, 

* Professor Henry Jones, speaking of the difference 
between Carlyle and Browning, says : *' This notable con- 
trast between the two men, arising at once from their 
disposition and moral environment, had £u-reaching effect 
on theh: lives and writings." — Browning as a Philosophical 
and Religious Teachsr, p. 50. See also Ladd's Physiological 
Psychology, p. 443. 



THE ART OF THINKING 41 

as John Morley says, ''It is a question of 
temperament which of two mental atti- ^^^^ j^i^q 
tudes becomes fixed and habitual, as ■ori«J«ys- 
it is a question of temperament how violently 
either of them straitens and distorts the normal 
faculties of vision."* 

I Denominationalism in religion is largely a 
I matter of temperament. The sestheti- Aptiiffioufl 
cally minded seek a worship with ritual ^•^* 
and ceremony; the educated and cultivated 
^classes attend a ministry which deals with truth 
according to their taste ; whilst a good many 
people whose religion depends on brotherhood 
and warm social fellowship find their way into 
churches where these qualities are most de- 
veloped. Between the religion and the indi- 
vidual there is a conformity to type. Nature 
has given us a tendency in one direction or 
the other.f 

Two men sit down to study the moral 
problems of life. One of them is cast x^^ ptiimiit 
in the mould of the melancholy ; he has tandenor. 
an affinity for all depressing things, and when 

* MitetUaniis, vol. L p. 144. 

t See Newman's ApologU as an instmctive example of 
this. 



49 THE ART OF THINKING 

at last he meets with Schopenhauer, he hails 
him as a kindred spirit and reveres him as a 
master. Temperament of the melancholy order 
has prejudiced his thinking. 

The other man is just as sanguine. He 
would scarcely go so far as Democritus and 

The optimist ^^Y ^^^^ ^^^ ^ side-splitting joke, but he 
tandeney. jg ^ laughing philosopher all the same. 

He admits that there is pain and agony, 
but regards them as more educative than 
penal. To him there is a bounding joy 
in everything, and he soon declares himself 
an optimist Temperament of the sanguine 
type has predisposed him in his thinking. It 
is no part of our duty to discuss pessimism 
and optimism; we have but to show how, as 
theories of life, there is a tendency in in- 
dividual temperament to accept or reject them 
according to the echo of native response they 
awaken in the heart and life of the think- 
Faraday'i ^^S ^^^' As Faraday says: "The 
idea, inclination we exhibit in respect of 
any report .or opinion which harmonizes 
with our preconceived notions can only be 
compared in degree with the i$tcredulity we 



/ 



THE ART OF THINKING 43 

entertain towards everything that opposes 
them."* 

(3) We have now to consider the prejudice of 
the theorist. By the theorist we do not mean 
the man who knows the theory of a Thetheoritt 
subject as opposed to its practice — that is the 
true sense of the word — ^we mean the creator 
of hypotheses, the man who "supposes" a 
series of causes to account for a series of 
consequences. Apologising for this colloquial 
use of the term, we may say that the theorist 
is not confined to one calling in life : he may 
be a man of science, a philosopher, a doctor of 
medicine, a tradesman, or a working man ; in 
fact we are all theorists more or less, isunivenaL 
for whenever we meet with facts which do not 
explain themselves, we readily conjure up a 
working hypothesis to do so. Now the danger / 
of theorizing lies in an anxiety to be complete,/ 
and if the theorizer finds his facts too resisting, 
he has a tendency to coerce them into obedience. 
Bacon says on this head, " The human under- 
standing, when any proposition has been laid 

* •* On the Edncation of the Judgment" See Modem 
CiUiuri, p. 2za 



44 THE ART OF THINKING 

down (either from general admission or beliefi 
or from the pleasure it affords), forces every- 
Baoon on thing else to add fresh support and con- 
pF^ttdi««. finnation; and although most cogent 
and abundant instances may exist to the con- 
trary, yet either does not observe, or despises 
them, or gets rid of and rejects them by some 
destruction with violent and injurious prejudice, 
rather than sacrifice the authority of its first 
conclusions."* 

Let us take an illustration from theology. 
Luther, as a consistent believer in the in- 
An oxampie spiration of the Bible, accepted its com- 
ftH>m Luther* posite scriptures as the work of God. 
Severing himself from the Roman Church on 
doctrinal issues, and taking his new ideas on 
justification from the Epistle to the Galatians, 
he commenced to re-read the New Testament 
in the light of that single document ; in other 
words he had formed his theory, and was 
about to test it by other scriptures. Meeting 
with the vigorous denunciations of unfruitful 
faith in St. James's Epistle, he thought he saw 
something antagonistic to his preconceived 
views, and without further hesitation be 

* Nov. Org, Aph. 46. 



THE ART OF THINKING 45 

branded this Apostolic letter as '' an epistle of 
straw." The reformer's thought was led astray 
by his anxiety to complete his theory.* 

But the theologian is not the only sinner. 
One of his greatest critics is the sden- ji^^ letenttit 
tist, and yet the scientist should be one •^^ * ■*^*' 
of the last men to cast a stone, for he too is a 
great hypothesis maker, and suffers from the 
same tendency to *' treat " facts in the light of 
his theory. When Professor Huxley was in- 
quiring into the origin of life, and the final 
result showed that life always came from pre- 
existing life, he candidly admitted that he 
wished the evidence had been the other way I 
Once more the prejudice of the theorist I Pro- 
fessor William James asks, " Why do ^^^ ^.„. 

" ' "^ Prof. WilUiun 

so few scientists look at the evidence for James on 
telepathy so-called ? Because they think, •^^°^' 
as a leading biologist, now dead, once said 
to me, that even if such a thing were true, 
scientists ought to band together to keep it 
\ suppressed and concealed"t Why ? Because, 

• Cardinal Newman's views on ecclesiastical miracles 
form another good example; e.g., his Ideas on the multi- 
plication of the wood of Christ's Cross. 

t Thi Will to BeliiVi, p. lO. 



46 THE ART OF THINKING 

forsooth I it would disturb the harmony of 
their systems. It is to the credit of Dr. A. R. 
Wallace that he has refused to cut and trim 
any fact in the interests of evolution ; he pre- 
ferred to allow mysterious things to remain as 
he found them, and his Darwinism is a classic 
illustration of how a great theory need not be 
ridden to death. 

After the scientist comes the historian, 

whose special temptation is so to manipulate 

^ his materials that events happened in 

Where the ^'^ 

historian the past as he thinks they ought to 
have happened and not as they actually 
did happen. Gibbon's prejudice comes out in 
his celebrated " five reasons " to account for the 
spread of Christianity, a bias from which even 
Mr. J. Cotter Morison does not excuse him.* 
Buckle's "History of Civilization" is a monu- 
ment of genius and industry, although at the 
present time it is unduly depreciated, 
hasty gene- His conclusions, however, are often 
doubtful and his methods question- 
able; he gives us the impression that he 
is bringing up history to prove what he 
believes to be the truth about history. That 
• Gibbon, Engluk Mm o/LtUm. 



THE ART OF THINKING 47 

this is not too harsh a judgment may be 
inferred from the admission of his most ardent 
disciple to the effect that he suffered from 
''theory with all its temptations to hasty 
generalization and rash synthesis.''* One of 
his aprioris was that the movements of nations 
are perfectly regular, and like all other move- 
ments they are solely determined by their 
antecedents. It is easy to see how this 
would warp the judgment when the time 
came to deal with things apparently anoma- 

lous.f 

But we must leave the historian and glance 
at the doctor of medicine. A reliable authority 
says, in reviewing medical history, 
" Theory, however, is too attractive for medieai 
ingenious minds to be long idle, and 
again we find medicine turning into the high 
priori road. • . . Sydenham's example .... 
was still powerful enough to curb the theo« 
rizing tendency, so that enthusiastic mathe- 
maticians like Mead did not allow their love 

* }. M. Robertson, BuchU and his Critics. 

t For other examples see Hegel's Theory 0/ History as 
stated in Matheson's Aids to th$ Study of Girman Theology; 
and also Comte's threefold law of Intellectaal progress. 



48 THE ART OF THINKING 

of hypothetical symmetry to vitiate their 
practice."* 

Yet another sphere, in which prejudice plays 

its vicious part in forcing theory to its utmost 

And In daOy Hmits and even beyond. The same thing 

***•• happens in daily life. A man one day 
discovers to his chagrin that two men of educa- 
tion have robbed him by leaving the district 
without paying their debts ; and as they were 
genial in disposition and polite in manners, he 
forms the idea that all polite people are bad, 
and acts accordingly. Instances on the other 
side are minimized by the supposition that 
opportunities for proving their badness have 
not been forthcoming, and that though appar- 
ently good they may be as wicked as the 
others. 

But we must bring this part of the subject 

to a close. Emerson was once twitted about 

, the unsystematic nature of his teaching. 

fatekofiyi- His reply was that ''truth has so many 

facts that the best we can do is to notice 

each in turn without troubling ourselves 

whether they agree." Possibly this sentiment 

* Dr. J. P. Steele, art ••Medicine,'* in Chmbtn^s 



THE ART OF THINKING 49 

is too poetic to be of ^entific value, but it is 
nevertheless wholesome as a medicinal draught 
for the hardened theorist. 

(4) Again, there is the prejudiu arising out 
of an unintelligent conservatism. — Some ., . ^ ,„ . 
minds have a definite bias in favour consarva- 
of the past. These men bend the 
knee before the Pyramids, and lament the 
deficiencies of modem builders and engineers ; 
they read the Hindu Upanishads, and are 
sorry for European metaphysics; our his- 
torians, they say, are eclipsed by Thucy- 
dides and Herodotus, our orators by Cicero 
and Demosthenes; in a word, there is no 
comparison in which we are not the losers. 
Locke says: "Some will not admit an Loekei 
opinion not authorized by men of old w^ticism 
who were then aU giants in knowledge ; nothing 
is to be put into the treasury of truth or know- 
ledge which has not the stamp of Greece or 
Rome upon it, and since their days will scarce 
allow that men have been able to see, think, 
or write."* This is a well-merited rebuke, for 
although we owe much to the past, we are not 
for that reason to cry down the triumphs of 
* Conduct o/thi Undirstandmg, p. 5a. 



so THE ART OF THINKING 

later times. Aristotle wrote on logic and on 
natural history. In some respects no one has 
advanced upon the rules he laid down for 
Aristotle left logical reasoning ; but in natural history 
behind, tt ^j^^ master of those who know " has 
been left far behind. And this is true of 
knowledge in almost every department. 

" Received opinion " domineers in a hundred 

different spheres and in as many different ways. 

"Reeeived '^^ annals of science contain many 

opiniQn." painful exhibitions, and nothing could 

be worse than the story of the " phlogiston " 

theory of fire. Stahl (1697) was the first to 

use the term Phlogiston, by which he meant a 

subtle principle residing in inflammable bodies 

and metals. His theory held undisputed sway 

until the time of Lavoisier (1787), who de- 

Lavoisierand monstrated its utter fallaciousness. \ 

" phlogiston. « Being a Frenchman, he was not regarded \ 

with much favour by the English scientists of 

that time, and they endeavoured to silence 

him by foolishly defending the now exploded 

"phlogiston" theory. Routledge says: "The 

English chemists — ^no doubt in some degree 

affected by the general British determination 

to oppose all French innovations — almost to a 



THE ART OF THINKING 5« 

man clung to their beloved phlogiston. Caven- 
dish published an able defence of the old 
theory, but finding that the new opin- stupid Britiib 
ions were nevertheless gaining ground, w^***«*- 
he relinquished chemical studies altogether. 
Priestly died in the phlogiston faith, and the 
other British chemists imitated Cavendish by 
throwing up the study in disgust."* Comment 
is needless. 

Sixty years ago the English people believed 
Mohammed to be a perfect specimen of the 
impostor as religionist. Carlyle under- cariyie and 
took to strike a blow at this accepted "o>»nw»«*- 
opinion, and it is a fitting testimony to his 
great powers that he accomplished the hercu- 
lean task of turning aside a nation's prejudice 
by showing Mohammed was not so bad as he 
had been painted. 

But we must bring these studies to a close. 
Enough has been said to convince any „ ^ ^ . 

** -^ How to deal 

one of the vast importance of subduing with pr^u- 
a force so aliea to right thinking as pre- 
judice. How can it be done ? In the follow- 
ing plan of study we have attempted a partial 
answer. 

* Hittofy o/SoiHCi, p. 368. 



$2 THE ART OF THINKING 

Plan of Study. 
(i) Read: 

Bacon, '' Idola " in Novum Organum, 
Watts, " On Prejudice," in his Logic. 
S. R. Bosanquet, " On Prejudice " in his 

Logic. 
Reid, Essay VI. in Intellectual Powers. 
Take to heart the words of Locke : " He 
must not be in love with any opinion, or wish 
it to be true till he knows it to be so, and then 
he will not need to wish it ; for nothing that is 
false can deserve our good wishes, nor a 
desire that it should have the place and force of 
truth ; and yet nothing is more frequent than 
this."* 

(2) Cultivate the habit of looking at both 
sides of a subject. A close scrutiny of ideas 
Consider both ^^ which we disbelieve entirely will often 
tides, reveal a logical power hitherto unsus- 
pected. Our minds are " made up " on a good 
many subjects, but did we give the other side 
a patient hearing ? Or are we ready to do so 
now ? For there is something radically wrong 
with a belief on which we are afraid to be 
cross-ezamined, or a proposition concerning 



- • 



Conditct 0/ thi Undirstandmg, p. p. 



THE ART OF THINKING 53 

which we hesitate to argue. If we have the 
truth, or think we have it, should we, under 
proper circumstances, decline to state our 
reasons for accepting it ? Even if the belief 
or proposition is right in itself, our unwilling- 
ness to discuss both sides of the question 
shows that our hold is defective ; the logic is 

faulty although we dare not confess it. , ^ 

•^ ^ In a formal 

There is no better practice than that and praeueai 
of taking a debatable subject — Crema- 
tion, for example — and setting down its argu- 
ments pro and con thus :* 

Against, For, 
(i) The tradition of nearly (z) Cremation is mnch 
all nations is in favour of a the most sanitary, and 
reverent mode of treating much the most cleanly 
the dead. Earth sepulture mode of disposing of the 
is alike conunanded by the dead. The epidemic earth- 
Synagogue and the Chris- worm is well known to 
tian Church. have occasionally spread 

infection. 
(2) Cremation violates (2) It can be so accom- 
our best and tenderest plished as to avoid wound- 
emotions ; and we could ing the feelings of surviving 
never reconcile ourselves to friends ; under any circum- 
Bubmitting the bodies of stances destruction by fire 
those we loved to the cannot be considered as 

flames more unbecoming than 

destruction by worms 

* The example Is taken from Askew's Pros and C(mm,a 
p. 68 (second editiony. 



54 



THE ART OF THINKING 



(3) The practioo was a (3) It is a very andcnt 
late introduction in the practice. 

Roman Empire to prerent 
bodies from being disin- 
terred. It was forbidden 
by the H0I7 Roman Inqui- 
sition. 

(4) Premature bnrials can (4) It eliminates all 
be rendered impossible by chancesof premature burials 
puncturing the heart of arising from trances, &c. — 
assumed corpses before a by no means unimportant 
burial. fact as recent discoveries 

have shown (We have it, 
moreover, on eminent medi- 
cal authority that it is im- 
possible to be certain that 
a man is dead before actual 
decay is visible). 

(5) The objection that 
cremation destroys all evi- 
dence as to the cause of 
death would be met by a 
stricter system of medical 
certificates. 

(6) The crowded con- 
dition of our cemeteries is 
a danger and a disgrace. 
Perishable coffins would go 
only a very short way to- 
wards remedying this evil. 

Now those whO| to use a common phrase, 
wish to look at every question "fairly and 
squarely/' will adopt some method similar to 



(5) Cremation destroys 
all evidences of the causes 
of death, and thus renders 
the detection of murder 
much more difficult 

(6) The substitution of 
perishable for imperishable 
coffins would meet the diffi- 
culty of overcrowding in 
modern cemeteries. 



THE ART OF THINKING 55 

that given above, not always in the same 
formal way, but in a way which will guarantee 
an equally unprejudiced conclusion. Of course 
it is not an infallible guide to truth, but 

' An antidote 

it is a fine antidote for narrow-minded- for narrow- 
ness. In all discussions ask two ques- ™ *"* 
tions — (i) what has been said on both sides ? 
and (2) which side has the greater claim to 
truth? 

(3) But such questions, after all, do not go 
to the root of the matter. They are somewhat 
mechanical — useful and necessary — but 

Bat eenflnod 
confined in their application. The root in lu appiiea- 

of the matter is what we have called 
passive or constitutional prejudice, and this 
should be studied scientifically by selecting a 
series of typical thinkers and examining them 
as to (a) the native tendency of their thought, r 
(b) the influence of the geographical area of 
birth, of the times in which they lived, and of 
environment generally. As an illustra- innuenea of 
tion of the first item we may quote the Mviwwn^nt 
names of Plato and Aristotle. It has been 
said that every man is bom either a Platonist 
or an Aristotelian, that is to say, he has a 
mental drift in the direction of the one or 



5« THE ART OF THINKING 

the other. It is well, therefore, to have a 
^ thorough knowledge of what each of 

Plato and ** ** 

Aristotle as the^e great names stands for. 
mental typee. ^ ^^ illustration of the second item 

there is a saying of Emerson that some men 

have " Asia " in their constitution. This means 

that they have an affinity for the Pan- 

jS^^T;!^ theism of the East. Schopenhauer was 

inteiieetuai Asiatic in his philosophic sympathies 

just as Kant was emphatically European. 

Hence an understanding of the genius of the 

East as distinct from that of the West is a 

valuable acquisition, and will greatly illuminate 

the course of investigation. 

Another side of this subject has reference to 
„ ^ men of thought and men of action: 

Hen of ^ 

thought and their differences and the comparative 

Bien of action. « r ^i. • t** 

value of their services. Erasmus is a 
good example of the one, and Luther of the 
other.* 

* In reviewing a work by Mr. Leslie Stephen, the 
Daily Chronicle (March 25th, 1896), said, " Mr. Stephen is 
always a teacher and never a prophet. Yet we conld 
never dream of him heading a crusade or stirring the 
deepest emotions of his fellows. This is also just the 
attitude of the Ethical movement, whose method is that 
of Erasmus, not that of Luther; and which is much 



THE ART OF THINKING 57 

It is obvious that the end of all this analysis 
should be kept in view, and not allowed to 
escape into side channels. The Truth is 
neither in Plato nor in Aristotle ; it is not in 
the East or in the West. In gathering together 
the scattered elements of truth from whatever 
source, let the student beware of that undue 
influence which an inborn tendency will wauh inborn 
inevitably exert And in reference to tend«neiM. 
opinions already formed do not hesitate, when 
the season is opportune, to be critical. How 
far have your present convictions been formed 
by prepossessions, and by the natural desire 
for the conclusions you have adopted ? Have 
you suffered or profited intellectually from the 
influences of your early years? Are you 
governed by the ipse dixits of some . ^ 

^ -> ^ And question 

favourite teacher? Has your enthusiasm Fonrseif 
for a form of truth drawn you into the 
snare of hasty theorizing? Such questions 
may be voted tedious, but self-knowledge is 
impossible without them. 
(4) Write a series of brief essays on the 

more concerned abont getting a few people to think 
correctly than about inducing great masses to act under 
the influence of some great enthusiasm." 



si THE ART OF THINKING 

epochs of history in which great change; 
intellectual, political, and moral — ^have taken 
Essay studies, place, such as the contact of Christianity 
with Greek Philosophy, and the Renaissance. 
Applied to the history of individuals — ^Augus- 
tine, Galileo, Bruno, and Spinoza — ^it will be 
alike instructive. 



CHAPTER V 

THOUGHT AS INFLUENCED BY EMOTION 

'*7A# light of th§ undirstanimg is not a 
thy or pun Ught, hut rtmvss a tiuctunfrom 
thi will and afictioiu, and U forms tks 
sdmtcis accordingly, for mm ar$ most wiUing 
to biUios what thiy most disin." 

Bacon, Novum Organum, Aph. 49. 

In a previous chapter we made a brief survey 
of the faculties of mind and their relation to 
thought. We said that the terms Feehng^ 
Intellect and Will, whilst they express real dis- 
tinctions, are, after all, but different activities 
of one mind. Feeling, however, is most . .. 

. ' FMlinffatth« 

fundamental ; consciousness is not a baiii of 
thought, or a congregation of thoughts ; 
as Sully says, '' feeling is subjective experience 
par excellence^ * Now it is a matter of some 
importance to grasp this position thoroughly, 

* Thi Human Mind, toL IL p. 1. 



6o THE ART OF THINKING 

for if emotion has so primary a place in the 
sphere of intellect, it ought to receive greater 
consideration than it has done hitherto, more 
particularly as a factor in the selection of ideas 
and beliefs, and as a guide to right conclusions. 
True, the psychologist devotes many pages to 
descriptions and classifications of emotions, 
and we are glad to avail ourselves of the 
results of his work, but he gives no rationale 
of the subject: it is no part of his work to 
do so. 

(i) "The influence of emotion on thought 
is twofold, (a) negative or inhibitory, and (A) v^ 

The twofold Positive or promotive. The sudden 
influenee of arrival of a bit of exciting intelligence, 
whether of a joyful character as the 
inheritance of an unexpected fortune, or of a 
miserable character, as the death of a beloved 
friend, is apt to paralyse thought for a while. 
In the second place, emotion as cerebral excite- 
ment is, in its less agitating degrees, distinctly 
promotive of ideation. We never have in our 
cooler moments such a swift rush of ideas as we 
have in our moments of emotional excitement ; 
hence the notion of the ancients that thought 
is most e£Scient in the complete abeyance of 



THE ART OF THINKING 6i 

feeling is an obsolete error." ♦ There could be 
no clearer statement than this of the natural 
and inevitable influence of feeling upon 
thought. We may now inquire, How far 
ought our thinking to be influenced by our 
feeling? This is the old question as to the 
conflict between a man's " head " and his <* Heart" and 
"heart." Coleridge once said in the ""•*<*•" 
midst of theological perplexities : " My head is 
with Spinoza ; my heart is with Paul and John." 
Now this use of the terms head and heart is a 
psychological convenience; the distinction is 
not scientific. But it sets forth a real experi- 
ence, one that every man of mature years must 
have felt when facing the many problems of 
life. Such matters as those which concern the 
bases of conduct and the destiny of the human 
race, occasion this sense of an inward Reason and 
conflict betwe6n intellect and emotion f ; ^^^^^' 
the dry reason of man suggests opinions 
which to the feelings are repugnant, and 
this is well stated by Tennyson when he 
says 

* Thi Hitman Mmd, vol. ii. pp. 60, 6z. 
t In this chapter imoUon and fMng are in most cases 
nsed interchangeably. 



6a THE ART OF THINKING 

If e'er when fidth had fallen asleep, 
I heard a voice, " Believe no more/* 

A warmth within the breast would melt 
The freezing reason's colder part. 
And like a man in wrath, the heart 
Stood up and answered " I have Celt" 

This is poetry; we believe it is also good 
philosophy. There can be little doubt that 
the emotions should be consulted in the selec- 
tion and rejection of what the world offers in 
the shape of truth. It cannot be that feeling 
which lies at the basis of consciousness should 
be an intruder in the court where the great 
"Peeling "to decisions of life are arrived at, for with- 
be consulted, ^^j^ jj ^h^ ^ourt itsdf would have no 

existence. 

" Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to dear, 
Each sufferer says his say, his scheme of the 
weal and woe, 
But God has a £ew of us whom He whispers in the 
ear. 
The rest may reason and welcome, 'tis we 
musicians know."* 

An analysis of the events of a single day will 
show bow unconsciously, and yet none the 
less truly, we are moved by mere impressions 
into which no solid judgment enters. Instinct 

• Browning in Adf VogUr, 



THE ART OF THINKING 63 

and intuition are greater masters than we are 
wont to imagine. Those who boast that they 
are the disciples of pure reason, and sneer at 
the poor '' emotionalist," are debtors to emo- 
tion far beyond their knowledge. Locke says : 

"Sometimes the mind perceives the , ^ 

'^ Loeke OB 

agreement or disagreement of two ideas intuitive 
immediately, by themselves, without the ^^ 
intervention of any other ; and this I think we 
may call tfUuitive knowledge. For in this the 
mind is at no pains of proving or examining, 
but perceives the truth as the eye doth the 
light only by being directed towards it'' 
Precisely. And why should not the emotions 
— and the intuitions so often associated 
with them — be regarded as responsible agents 
in thinking? For they can bring us face to 
face with some truths without the assist- 
ance of that which we call "reason." Pro- 
fessor Henry Jones is bold enough to ^ . 
say that " the intuitive insight of faith, Htnry Jones 
the immediate conviction of the heart, 
cannot render, and must not try to render, 
any account of itself. Proof is a process ; but 
there is no process in this direct conviction 
of truth. Its assertion is just the denial of 



64 THE ART OF THINKING 

process."* The natural man with only five 
senses must not be trusted as a capable ex- 
positor of life. Spiritual things are spiritually : 
discerned, and if a man may muddle his mind . 
by an overplus of emotion, he can starve it by j 
a policy of self-repression. 

(2) We now come to emotion in excess. 
Bain very aptly says : " Emotion tampers with 

Bmotionin ^^^ intellectual trains as a culprit would 
Bzeess. fj^j^ Jq ^j^Jj ^Jj^ witnesses in his case, 

keeping out of the way all who are against 
him." t Coming to practical illustrations, it is 
^ evident how anger obscures the action 
Bcuresjudff- of judgment ; how many a man regrets 
that excess of feeling which caused him 
to think lightly of important side issues and 
to act precipitately. Parents with fond hearts 
have often to lament that lack of decision^ 
which springs from thoughtless affection. But 
let us take one or two of life's greatest emo- 
tions, and trace their influence upon the course 
of right thinking. 

* Browning as a Philosophical and Rtligious Ttachtr, p. 318 ; 
also Hatton, CcnUmporary Thoughts and Thinhers, vol L 
p. 212. 

t Thi Emotions and ths WiU, p. 55a. 



THE ART OF THINKING 65 

(a) Fear. — ^Tbis is a word of several mean- 
ings, but here we mean that inward agitation 
which in view of apprehended evil exerts a dis- 
turbing influence on the mind. There F«ap dtflned 
is, for instance, the effect upon man of the ex- 
ternal aspects of the universe, producing in 
every mind a sense of unspeakable littleness 
in the midst of the world's immensities, and of 
feebleness in the presence of its mighty 
powers. This feeling of awe which |q ^we of 

\ nearly always passes into one of dread, J'*^™^ 
more or less refined, is the occasion of false 
conceptions, and, in some cases, of mischievous 
doctrines. Buckle has pointed out how in the 
Tyrol this fact has caused the natives to invent 
superstitious legends.* Earthquakes have had 
a share in the making of theology. 

But there is another kind of fear ; the fear of 

P>^e future ; a fear which is partly a natural heri- 
tage and partly the result of training. Appeals 
by preachers and moralists are often peapin 
made to it, and, as a result, conduct is '•^Won. 
largely modified thereby. Highly coloured 
descriptions of the infernal regions may be 
striking as specimens of oratory, but as to the 

* H%$\o9y of CivUUaiioH, vol. L p. 121. 



66 THE ART OF THINKING 

emotions that follow a belief in the doctrines 
they teach, one can only speak in terms of 
reprehension. 

There is, or ought to be, a fear of broken 
law ; that can be justified at the bar of reason. 
Of other " fears " beware ! 

(A) Pride. — We mean such a feeling of our 
own superiority as begets an ignorant pity for 
Pride defined, the supposed inferiority of others. Its 
chief ingredient is scorn; a contempt that 
either arises out of the vanity of success, or 
native fulness of conceit. Faraday says in an 
essay from which we have previously quoted, 
Faraday OB " Mental education has for its first and^^ 
humuity. last Step humility. It can commence only 
because of a conviction of deficiency ; and if we 
are not disheartened under the growing revela- 
tions it will make, that conviction will become 
stronger to the end. But the humility will 
not be founded on comparison of ourselves 
with the imperfect standards around us, but 
on the increase of that internal knowledge 
which alone can make us aware of our in- 
ternal wants!"* Examples are better than 
mere descriptions, and we turn to the life of 



THE ART OF THINKING 67 

Descartes. Professor Mahafiy tells us that 
this French philosopher regarded himself as 
almost infallible, and had a scorn of all Deseartes, 
his contemporaries. He praised Harvey, but 
says he only learned a single point from him ; 
Galileo was only good in music, and here he 
attributed to him the elder Galileo's work ; 
Pascal and Campanella are pooh-poohed. Here 
then is an instance of how pride in one's own 
work may beget a cheap cynicism with And his eon- 
regard to the work of others : and how, ^^^ 
as a feeling, it blinds the mind to excellences 
outside those we have agreed to call our own. 
The Hebrew proverb writer said a wise thing 
when he affirmed, '' A scomer seeketh wisdom 
and findeth it not." The scorner is always a 
very unsuitable man to judge his contem- 
poraries, but, apart from such a special em- 
ployment of his powers, he is unfitted for the 
general search of truth. All critics are agreed 
that sympathy is essential to insight, and 
"between sympathy and scorn there is „ 

•^ '^ "^ Sympathy 

a great gulf fixed, to cross which is essenuaito 
practically beyond the resources of 
natuiv or art. It has been authoritatively 
declared impossible to be a good naturalist 



6$ THE ART OF THINKING 

without sympathy : a man must enter into the 
life and personal characteristics, so to speak — 
the habits and idiosyncrasies of the birds and 
even of fishes, to say nothing of the higher 
creatures, before he can understand them." 
The clear thinker, therefore, will stoop that 
he may rise; he becomes humble that he 
may be exalted. He knows how a superficial 
egotism may blind him to new truths and unfit 
him for unprejudiced judgments. In a word he 
TyndaJi on realises that " when a man consents to 
humuity. lay aside his vanity, and to become 
Nature's organ, his elevation is the instant 
consequence of his humility ! " • 

(c) Sympathy. — As already stated sympathy 
is essential to insight. But it is possible to 

Sympathy m have too much sympathy. Take the 
•xeess. subject of animal suffering. We will 
suppose that a man devotes one month to the 
exclusive study of this question. First he 

Animal raf- reads the story of science — ^the great 
ferinff. struggle for life in which might was 
right and the weakest went to the wall. 
Then he wades through reports of the 

* Tyndall, On th$ Study 0/ Physics. Sea Modtm CtUturs^ 
p. 17. 



THE ART OF THINKING 69 

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Animals, and is shocked at the brutalities of 
our boasted civilization. Later, he masters 
the literature of vivisection and is appalled by 
hideous pictures of experiments performed on 
living animals. At the close of a month's study 
his mind is filled with a very proper sympathy 
for the sufierings of the lower creation. Now, 
without arguing the question on one side or 
the other, let us state a few facts which will 
show how it is possible for the feeling of sym- 
pathy to override the judgment. Pain j^^ human 
inflicted by one animal on another, or by •nff«>^ng. 
a human being, is not so agonizing as if experi- 
enced by man himself; the power to suffer 
varies in creatures of flesh and blood according 
to the number and strength of nerve ganglia.* 
Animals do not look before and after as men 
do, and whilst we decry all kinds of brutal 

I >*--u^he essence of all suffering b mental. It is not the 
sensation, pnra and simple, but such sensation accom- 
panied by intellectual consciousness and reflection which 
is so fearfully distressing. This distrust the brute creation 
Is spared ; they suffer but never reflect on their sufferings, 
and therefore cannot be truly said to know them." — 
L. A. Lambert, TacHct oflnfidds, p. 124. See also Ruskin 
on the PtUkdUFMugf ia M94tm PamUrs, vol. UL 



yo THE ART OF THINKING 

treatment, we are always confronted with that 

suffering for which Nature is responsible. Now 

An important those who know most about the method 

differenee. of Nature, say that "On the whole 

the popular idea of the struggle for existence 

entailing misery and pain in the animal 

the natural world, is the very reverse of truth. 

^ ^ What it really brings about is the 

maximum of life, and of the enjoyment of life, 

with the minimum of suffering and pain. . . • 

It is difficult to imagine a system by which a 

greater balance of happiness could have 

Drummondon been secured." * Professor Drummond 

the struggle jjgQ bears a like testimony.t Now these 

for existence. '' ' 

facts are bound to direct the disposal of 
our S3anpathy. We shall not be so ready to 
curse the Creator for making such a world full 
of cruelties ; our feelings, on witnessing wilful 
Modified eon- brutalities, are somewhat softened by 
elusions, remembering that animal suffering is not 
the same as human suffering; and the anti- 
vivisectionist may comfort himself a little with 
the solace of the same thought. Without dis- 
cussing these questions, our aim will have been 

* Wallace. Darwinism, p. 40. 
t Ascent o/Man, p. 260. 



\ 



THE ART OF THINKING yi 

accomplished if we have shown how easily an 
emotion in excess may warp us from right con- 
clusions. 

To take an example of another kind we turn 
to Mrs. Besant's Autobiography. When her 
baby was ill with the whooping-cough, mps. Besant s 
its sufferings aroused grave doubts in «^ticism. 
her mind respecting the goodness of the God 
she worshipped. " For some months a stubborn 
antagonism to the providence who ordains the 
sufferings of life had been steadily increasing 
in me, and this sullen challenge, 'Is God 
good ? ' found voice in my heart during those 

silent nights and days As I watched 

my baby in its agony and felt so hopeless to 
relieve, more than once the indignant cry 
broke from my lips: 'How canst Thou tor- 
ture a baby so?' ... • All my mother- 
heart rose up in rebellion against this Person 
in whom I believed and whose individual 
finger I saw in my baby's agony." 

This is a clear case of blinding emotionalism. 
That we should say anything against the tender 
solicitude of a mother's heart let us itsdefeeu. 
hasten to utter a fervent *God forbid.' But is it 
a doctrine of Theism that God smites babies 



7a THE ART OF THINKING 

with disease and enjoys the fun of tormenting 
them ? Was it the first time Mrs. Besant had 
seen a baby suffer ? and if not, why did doubt 
fail to assert itself before ? The fact is Mrs. 
Besant has so much sympathy, that it is more 
than a match for her judgment, and she failed 
to see those modifications of a problem which 
change its issues entirely. Probably, however, 
she has forsaken her logic, although she has 
never restored the lost clause to her creed. We 
are reminded of what has been said of a noted 

GeopffeSand. French writer, "As a thinker, George 
Sand never attained to maturity .... she 
never wrote a truer word, than when she con- 
fessed that she judged everything by sym- 
pathy." * 

{d) Admiration. — By this term we mean 

an emotion excited by something beautiful 

^ or excellent: and apt, like many more 

uneontpoiied emotions, to lead the mind astray. There 
^ is a fine field for admiration in the study 
of insect intelligence, an intelligence in some 
cases so wonderful that verdicts as to its nature 
are given more by feeling-prompted thoughts 
of amazement than by reasonably drawn con- 

* Niechs, U/i of Chopin, p. 33^ 



THE ART OF THINKING 73 

elusions based upon sure data. Here is an 
example taken from the pages of a scientific 
journal ** Mr. Tegetmeier described an example 
of intelligence in the honey bee which has 
hitherto escaped observation. ... On Mr.Teffet- 
placing a frame hive in which old nieieronbws 
combs had been artificially attached, near 
a stock that was expected to throw ofi* a 
swarm, it was seen that the bees visited it, 
and that numerous scales of newly secreted 
wax were found on the floor board. This led 
to an attentive examination of the combs, and 
it was discovered that new white wax had 
been secreted in the empty hive, and that this 
had been employed in repairing the combs, 
particularly in cementing them more securely 
to the top of the hive, their attachment 
being strengthened at that point where the 
greatest weight would have to be sus- 
tained when the combs should be filled 
with young brood, honey, and pollen. It 
appears an extraordinary instance of 
foresight and intelligence, as distinct inteiUgeneVv. 
from unreasoning instinct, that the bees, unreasoning 

•^ instinct 

when proposing to send out a swarm to 
tenant a new residence, should not only clean 



\ 



74 THE ART OF THINKING 

the hive, but send a relay of worker bees to 
cluster and secrete wax, in order to strengthen 
the combs at that part where the greatest 
weight will have to be supported." * 

Notice the language used by this writer: 
"extraordinary foresight and intelligence as 
distinct from unreasoning instinct;" "pro- 
posing" to send out a relay, and so forth. 
Does be mean to say that these insects 
entered into minute calculations respecting 
weights? and foresaw a greater influence of 
gravity at one point than another? and that 
they had a council and " proposed " to do this 
and not to do that ? It may be poetry, but it 
Bad psycho- ^^ ^^^ psychology. Insects have no 
logy, foresight at all, and the cleverest of 
them are surprisingly poor at adapting means 
to ends when placed under new conditions. 
\ Mr. Tegetmeier's admiration deluded him into 
^ a confusion of instinct with intelligence. 

Dr. Bascom states the case well, when he 
says, "We are also to remember that 

Baseomon 

misleading from a scientific point of view the social 

^""^ economy of the hive and the ant-hill takes 

a very misleading garniture from the language 

* ItUeiUctual Obserwr, vol. v. p. 46a. 



THE ART OF THINKING 75 

which the enthusiastic observer applies to them. 
He talks of the Queen Bee, yet the Queen Bee is 
not the ruler but the fecund mother of the hive, 
that is all. Her close confinement, her daily 
food| her careful attendance are not the per- 
quisites of royalty, but have reference to the 
propagation of species."* We read of ants 
having a king and a queen, royal chambers 
and capacious apartments; all this is poetry. 
The words slaves and masters are a mere ^ mep^ ^log, 
gloss of language. In the dairy keep- ^^^w^ni***^ 
ing of the ants there is much the same extra- 
vagance of phrase. The tendency to be fought 
against is one which attempts to read into the 
activities of the lower creation all the subtle 
and delicate intellections of the human kind. 
Of course, this is only one sphere out of 
many in which admiration for creatures or 

* Comparative Psychology, p. 164. The same critidsm 
might be applied to some forms of animal afifection. 
" Hamerton gives an instance in which the skin of her 
calf, very carelessly stuffed, was laid before the cow to 
draw her attention whilst being milked. She proceeded 
to lick it with • most delightftd tenderness ' ; yet a little 
later, the fiistenings giving way, she ate up the fodder it 
contained with entire composure. Natural affection 
flowed into natural appetite without a ripple of iatelU- 
gence." 



j6 THE ART OF THINKING 

things may divert us from right conclu- 
sions. 

And it will be evident from a survey of the 
Feeiinff mmt whole chapter that he who would think 
be studied, dearly must have a close acquaintance 
with the influences of feeling. 

Plan of Study. 

(i) Perhaps the best thing to do in the first 
place is to obtain an adequate knowledge of 
emotions and feelings as they are described by 
the psychologist. For this purpose read the 
following : 

Bain, Emotions and the Will (Longmans). 

Sully, The Human Mind (Longmans). 

James, Principles of Psychology (Macmillan). 

These are three of the best books on the 
subject of emotion ; but if treatises are required 
showing special influences on the course of 
thought we should recommend — 

Taylor, Fanaticism, 

Vaughan, Corruptions of Christianity. 

Taylor, Natural History of Enthusiasmf^^S). 
(2) In the first part of this chapter 

BmotloneoB- ^ ' 

iideped phiio- we made a plea for the use of emotion 
*^*'* *^' or feeling in the selection of ideas and 
beliefs, and as a guide to right conclusions. 



THE ART OF THINKING 77 

We further stated that this was equivalent 
to asking that in deciding questions in Philo- 
sophy, Theology, Religion, and Ethics, some 
respect should be paid to the demands of the 
" heart." But why ? it will be asked. Is not 
feeling proverbially delusive ? Are not 
emotional people more often unintelligent than 
not ? and may not the " heart " give credence 
to a thousand forms of error? These itseiaimtobe 
questions are not ill-placed, but they **«*^ 
scarcely touch the foundation point. It is a 
common experience to hear a man say : '' I /eel 
this to be true ; " and we should defend such 
a statement as intelligent because " feeling is 
subjective experience par excellence;** at least 
that would be the first item in the defence. 
There are many truths about which it is super- 
fluous to reason; we are conscious that they 
are^ just as we are conscious of consciousness 
itself. Again — ^reason, per se, does not hmmod is not 
in the full exercise of its powers give *»^«'^'<>n- 
play to every mental function; it is largely 
an employment of the logical elements of 
mind; at any rate such is the case as the 
term is popularly used. And one has only to 
read some of Berkeley's dialogues to find 



78 THE ART OF THINKING 

that Herbert Spencer was right when he said 

that reason was capable ot exercising a sort 

of tyranny over other mental functions. 

Herbept Spen- "^ '' 

eeronBerke- Therefore, to come back to the familiar 
^^* terms so often on our lips, we think it 
right to say that any man who follows his 
"head" to the neglect of his "heart," is no 
more likely to find the truth than the man 
who follows his "heart" and neglects his 
"head." 

But what, more exactly, is meant by con- 
sulting one's heart? The reply is more 

readily conceived than it is expressed. 
Con$ultliiff '' ^ 

the heart. Now therein lies a suggestive fact which 
^ ought not to escape notice. The heart 

can never give an account of itself in logical 
form ; it would not be the heart if it could. 
The " reasons " of the heart are the dictates of 
our higher instincts, or in other words the 
goings forth of our intuitions. The heart is 
not a thinker: it is the subjective 

Dispenses ' ^ 

vdthsyiio- nature's perpetual motion. Hence to 

consult one's heart is to lay aside syllo* 

gisms, and reasons for and against, and listen 

to the promptings of the soul within. We use 

the word " soul " advisedly, for there is a sense 



THE ART OF THINKING 79 

in which the following of the heart means 
an exploiting of baser tendencies ; moreover, 
soul is an accepted term where intuitions are 
concerned. The questions of Philosophy and 
Religion are in many respects identical, „ 

Soni6 pro- 

and we therefore recommend the reader's biems for 
attention to the following problems which 
are to be dealt with first from the standpoint of 
reason, afterward from the standpoint of intui- 
tion. 

(a) God. (i) What is meant by God ? Can 
there be an Infinite Personality? Need of 
anthropo-morphism. A First Cause necessary 
to every thinker. How far that First Cause 
realises itself. (2) The perception of God. 
The Infinite: as a philosophical conception 
and a mystic idea. The indefiniteness of 
every thought about the Unknown and Eternal. 
Instinctive belief. The testimony of the heart 
to the sense of fitness. Faith as a working 
hypothesis.* 

(b) In the same way treat these : 

*"The philosophic vindication of Faith is. that proof 
of the impossibility of comprehending all things in a 
reasoned system of knowledge." See Eraser's BirhiUy in 
Phiiosophical Classics, Blackwood, p. 213 if. 



8o THE ART OF THINKING 

i. The eternity of the soul, 
ii. The possibility of a future life, 
iii. Can there be communion with God ? 
iv. The difference between right and 

wrong. 
V. The nature and genesis of con- 
science. 
(2) Character-studies on intellectual lines 
will serve a useful end. The emotions of early 
charaetep- years have considerable power in direct- 
studies, jjjg ^1j^ appreciations of the mind. Let 
us suppose Charlotte Bronte is our character- 
study. Where did she get her intensity and 
power ? Mrs. Gaskell, in speaking of Charlotte 
and her sisters, says: "They knew no other 
children. They knew no other modes of 
thought than what were suggested to them 
Charlotte ^Y ^^^ fragments of clerical conversation 
Brents, ^hich they overheard in the parlour, or 
the subjects of village and local interests which 
they heard discussed in the kitchen. Thus 
children leading a secluded life are often 
thoughtful and dreamy ; the impressions made 
upon them by the world without — ^the unusual 
sights of earth and sky — the accidental meetings 
with strange faces and figures are sometimes 



THE ART OF THINKING 8i 

imagined by them into things so deeply 
significant as to be almost supernatural."* 
Here, then, is the origin of one element influence of 
of intensity — an element which will •a'^yy®"* 
account for many traits in her character, and 
which for years dominated her mental outlook. 
In fact the influence of emotion upon thought 
can nowhere be seen to such advantage as in 
biography and autobiography. It is not un- 
fitting, therefore, to urge the reader to adopt 
such a course of reading, by taking some 
representative writer or thinker of the 
emotional type, and from biographic details 
and general criticisms gather the varying 
quantity of truth and error to be put down 
to the influence of feeling. 

The Philosophical Classics (Blackwood) is 
a fine series of monographs, and especially 
adapted for the purpose referred to. The 
English and Foreign Classics^ published by the 
same firm, and containing volumes on Dante, 
Pascal, &c., is also a very useful library. The 
Mystics, of course, must be found a place 
in this connection. The handiest book is still 
Vaughan's Hours with the Mystics. Along 

* Uf$ o/CkarlotU Brtmii, p. 65 



$2 THE ART OF THINKING 

with the reading of this book it would not be 
amiss to study representatives of an opposite 
school : Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, Edward 
Gibbon, John Stuart Mill, Jean Jacques Rous- 
seau, and Auguste Comte. 

(3) The following names representing all 
shades of teaching are well worthy of study 
from the standpoint of this chapter : 

Buddha, St. Paul, Plotinus, St. Augustine, 
Mohammed, Francis Bacon, Shelley, Byron, 
Tennyson, Browning, Emerson, and Maeter- 
linck among modern writers. 



CHAPTER VI 

GENERAL RULES FOR CLEAR THINKING 

"Each mind has Us ovm msUtod. A 
true man nevgr acquires afUr college rules.** 

Emerson. 



We propose in this chapter briefly to expound 
and enforce a few of those rules, without a 
conformity to which we cannot hope to think 
clearly and vigorously. They are not set 
down in the order of importance, or with any 
regard to their relationship; they are too 
general in nature to need a classification. 

(i) Learn the nature and value of method. — 
By method we mean the manner of treating a 
subject, the way in which we deal with it ^ 
intellectually. The common way is to andvaiaeof 
think haphazardly, without knowing 
there is a place where one's thoughts should 
begin, and a certain manner and direction in 



84 THE ART OF THINKING 

which they should travel. Of course, we are 
supposing you have a subject before you, and 
are about to " think it over/* 

Perhaps it is an essay on "Woman: her 
place and power." We will take that as an 
example. The man without method flies from 
one thought to another, regardless of their 
relationship or proper sequence. He will 
think of the last woman he heard of who 
" henpecked " iier husband ; then he passes to 
the women of the New Testament, and almost 
immediately is busy once more in a later cen- 
tury of crinolines ; finishing a comet-like 
course of thought by criticising the influence 
of women on knowledge as expounded by 
A choppy ^* T. Buckle. This man without method 
thinker, jg ^ choppy thinker. He thinks about 
the subject, it is true, but he lacks the sense of 
order and relationship. How should we apply 
method to the subject of the essay referred to ? 
By following the stated order — f>., the place 
and power of woman. Take the first part: 
wontan^s place. A possible division, among 
others, is her place in 

{a) Nature. {c) Christianity. 

' {b) Paganism. {d) Modern Life. 



THE ART OF THINKING 85 

It wiU be observed that the above is histo- 
rical. Such a method is necessary if xhe ustorieai 
we are to see a thing in its true per- n>«thod. 
spective. 

Of course, there are a thousand methods, 
and very often the subject will dictate one 
peculiar to itself. Method has been Method d«- 
defined as the foUowing of one thing ^^ 
through another; order, as the following of one 
thing after another. 

Suggestions. 

(a) Read Jevons' Lessons in Logic^ chap, xiii., 
** Pascal and Descartes on Method " ; Locke's 
Conduct of the Understandings "Principles." 
How would you deal with these subjects? 
" Ought novels to have a purpose ? " " Was 
Byron insane ? " 

{b) Take a book like Rowton's The Debater^ 
and study the debates with the help there 
given. "Which is the more happy, a bar- 
barous or a civilized nation ? " " Has the 
invention of gunpowder been beneficial to 
mankind ? " These are specimens of the dis- 
cussions — ^hackneyed, perhaps, but touching 
fundamental questions — and they provide a 
fine field for the exercise of native insight. 



86 THE ART OF THINKING 

the weighing of evidence, and the application 

of different methods. Find the centre 

question Is ^^ ^ subject, or, as some would say, 

^^'^ m«2a ^^&^S the figure, go to the bottom 

""^ * of it. 

See Locke, Conduct, &c., p. 95. 

(2) Acquire the art of concentratton, — ^The 
foundation of all mental discipline lies in the 
The art of eon- power of governing the operations of 
eentraUon. q^j. minds. If we are at the mercy of 
"thought succession," it will fare badly with 
our attempts to think clearly. Let us sup- 
pose that two men are about to examine the 
relation of genius to insanity. Many great 
names pass before their minds, but when 
Shakespeare's presents itself they are struck 
by the absence of every morbid element 
in his character and works. Here is a 
mighty exception : What will Lombroso make 
of this ? Having duly noted the fact, one 
man returns to study Caesar, Leopardi, and 
Swift. But the other man had no sooner 
thought of Shakespeare than his mind went 
off to the last meeting of the dramatic 
club, and from that to a boating excursion 
by the members ; from the boating excursion 



THE ART OF THINKING 87 

he quickly travels on in thought to the 
residence of a new friend he made how the mind 
that day, in whose grounds there is an ^'^»***«**"- 
observatory, and that leads him to think of 
stars and distant worlds. Instead of puzzling 
out a question in psychology, this man has 
wandered into infinite space. Scores of people 
complain of mind-wandering. What is the 
cure? 

First, to know what concentration is. Is it 
possible to keep an unflagging atten- Thepemedf 
tion on one thing, and one alone ? o"^**»«*- 
Professor William James says that concentra- 
tion is not a study of one thing or idea ; that 
we start with one thought and immediately 
travel on to the nearest thought related to it, 
X^and concentration is the power of swiftly re- 
turning to the original thought. ''There is 
no such thing as voluntary attention whateoneen- 
sustained for more than a few seconds *~^*<>n ^ 
at a time. What is called sustained voluntary 
attention is a repetition of successive efforts 
which brings back the topic to the mind."* 
Thus it appears that mind-wandering is not so 

* Pfindpiis of Psychology, vol. L p. 420 



86 THE ART OF THINKING 

much a tendency to think of different things 
from the one chosen for reflection; it is 
inability to return from a related subject to 
the original theme with which thought had its 
commencement. And this power of concen- 
tration should not be made synonymous 
sariiy ffFeat ^^^^ intellectual acumen. Newton, Hel- 

mentai yetius, and others have attributed their 
power. 

success to concentration, and it is no 
doubt true that ''the discoverers of new 
knowledge have always been distinguished by 
an unusual degree of pertinacity in brooding 
over a subject," but ** no amount of attention 
simply will constitute intellectual eminence."* 
Control over ^^f concentration is just the power to 
faeoities. ^g^ ^jjg faculties we have when we want 

to do so. They may be naturally strong or 
otherwise, but if we have no command over 
them, then, apart from the humiliation of being 
slaves to mental whim and fancy, we have 
to suffer the degradation of impotence. How 
can this be avoided ? 

Suggestions. 

(a) Bacon said, ''If a man's wit be wander- 
ing, let him study mathematics." Even Sir 

* Sully, Handbook of Psychology, p. 97. 



THE ART OF THINKING 89 

William Hamilton said, " Their study, if pur- 
sued in moderation and efficiently counter- 
acted, may be beneficial in the correc- 

sip William 
tion of a certain vice and m the formation Hamilton on 

of its corresponding virtue. The vice is thamatic* 
the habit of mental distraction ; the virtue is 
the habit of continuous attention/'* Euclid 
is perhaps the best branch to take up. See 
Locke's Conduct, &&, p. 25. 

{b) Form the habit of writing your thoughts. 
Pen in hand you will be able to keep The help of 
closer to a subject than by merely think- ^* ^°- 
ing it over in your easy chain The mechanical 
element in writing assists the power of con- 
centration. 

(c) Chess is undoubtedly of great (mess as 
service, and it has the advantage of ^^^ 
possessing intrinsic attraction. 

(3) Study carefully the laws of evidence. — 
Scarcely a day passes without our being xht laws off 
asked to produce proofs of something •▼**»»«•• 
we have said, and it is therefore highly desir- 
able that we should know what a proof is, and 
what is the nature of the evidence on which it 
rests. The word '' evidence " comes from e and 

* DfMMJtofM Ml Philosophy and Lit0tatiir$, p. 125. 



90 THE ART OF THINKING 

videre — ^to see ; literally, the seeing of anything. 
It now means any facts apprehended by the 
mind and made the grounds of knowledge and 
belief. We may divide evidence into three 
kinds: (a) General, {b) Legal, and (c) His 
torical. It is usual to divide the first into 
oemonftra- ^^^ classes — demonstrative and probable. 
uve evidenea. Thg former has a large place in logic ; 
to draw from a necessary and universal truth 
consequences which necessarily follow is 
demonstration. The reasoning in mathematics 
is of this type. All the propositions of Euclid 
are simply deductions from the definitions ; 
axioms being assumed and postulates granted. 
There is then no difficulty with evidence so 
telling that every man of sane mind must 
concur therein; the difficulty arises in the 
Probable sphere of the probable. By probable 
evidenM. evidence is meant such facts as incline 
the mind to belief, but leave some room 
for doubt; a state of mind varying in degree 
from the faintest presumption to almost 
perfect certainty. As may be imagined, pro- 
bable evidence requires careful handling — a 
keen sense of justice, and an entire absence of 
all prejudice* 




THE ART OF THINKING 91 

Legal evidence is likewise subdivided as fol- 
lows : (a) oral and (b) documentary ; (c) direct 
and (d) circumstantial The first two Legij eyi* 
define themselves; and the others do *•"«•• 
not need much exposition. Direct evidence is 
what the witness saw — as when he witnessed 

r 

the shooting of a man's wife ; circumstantial 
evidence is the testimony given by witnesses 
to what they know regarding facts more or 
less remotely connected with the act which 
resulted in the woman's death. 

Historical evidence has not been treated in 
the same manner as those branches we have 
just dealt with. It has principles of 
guidance, and some of them have been evidenee ai 
expounded by Professor Freeman: jwdin^to 
" One of the highest forms of testimony 
is when two or three witnesses tell the same 
story in practically one way, but one part ot 
it in exactly the same way." Again : " Short 
of direct disproof, there is no argument so 
strong against any story as the argument 
that it is too obvious." Professor professor 
GreenleaPs Testimony of the Four Greonioaf. 
\/ Evangelists is a fine embodiment of studies 
in historical evidence. A working knowledge 



9fl THE ART OF THINKING 

of this subject is one of the thinker's 
iodispensables. 

Suggestions, 

(a) Read: 

Butler, Analogy — Introduction. 

Stephen, Digest of the Law of Evidence 

(Macmillan) 
Encylo, Brit.^ art. Evidence, 
Freeman, Methods of Historical Study 

(Macmillan). 
Whateley, Historic Doubts relative to 

Napoleon. 

(fi) Examine the evidence for 

(a) Origin of species. 

(d) Other worlds than ours. 

(c) Resurrection of Christ. 

(d) That life comes from death. 

(e) Socialism. 

(c) Read a good book of Law Cases. 

(4) The mind should be tutored in the art of 
drawing distinctions. — John Locke defines a 
Drawing dis- distinction as ''the perception of a 
tincuons. difference that nature has placed in 
things." He further adds that "to observe 
every the least difference that is in things, 
argues a quick and clear sight, and this keeps 
the understanding steady and right in its way 
to knowledge,'' closing his remarks with the 



i 



THE ART OF THINKING 93 

followlDg: ''An aptness to jumble things 
together wherein can be found any likeness 
is a fault in the understanding .... Locke speaks 
which will not fail to mislead it, and by Pi**^y« 
thus lumping of things hinder the mind from 
distinct and accurate conceptions."* 

How often have we heard an argument 
from analogy successfully refuted because the 
reasoner had failed to observe disparities which 
made the analogy impossible ! And how pain- 
ful is that 'Mumping of things'' to which 
Locke refers ! Now one of the most important 
matters in all thought is to be able to dis- 
tinguish things essential from things 
secondary. Wherever this is overlooked, and the 
the central question is invariably lost in 
the discussion of side issues. Some one asks 
what is the difierence between an original 
and a conventional mind ? Should any one 
introduce the matter of sex, few would fail 
to see that that was a point of secondary 
importance ; the real question is one of mind 
apart from sex. From this simple illus- 
tration an idea can be found of the way in 
which political, social, and religious doctrines 

* Conduct, &€., p. 68. 



94 THE ART OF THINKING 

are vexed by being played off into side 
ifisues. 

** Ought persons to be excluded from civil 
offices on account of their religious opinions ?" 

An lUostpa^ The answer given by some is : '* No, 
t|on. except Infidels and Roman Catholics." 
Now this reply is wrong, for the kind of 
religious opinions is a secondary matter; the 
essential point — ^taking the question as stated 
— ^is religious opinions of any type : shall these 
debar a man from serving the interests of his 
country ? 

The art of drawing distinctions is very un- 
popular in certain quarters where it is known as 
scholastic subtlety. We hold no brief for the 

The school- defence of the " schoolmen," but it is only 
"•"• fair to say that they are too cheaply 
summed up in the hackneyed phrase, which 
represents them spending their time in dis- 
cussing how many angels could stand on 

the point of a needle.* They were giants in 
intellect, and although one may smile at 
their methods and metaphysical minutiae, it 
cannot be denied that as an intellectual gym- 

* For a defence of the Schoolmen see Townsend's 
Schoolmen of the Middle Ages. 



1 



THE ART OF THINKING 95 

nastic their works can scarcely be excelled. 
Bacon says, if a man's wit be '' not apt saeon's ad- 
to distinguish or find differences, let him ^^^^^ 
study the schoolmen, for they are Cymini 
Sectores.*' 
Suggestions. 

(a) Read Macaulay's Essays, Newman's 
Grammar of Assent, and Lessing's LaocoCfn, 

(b) There is no one book in English which 
contains the essence of Scholasticism. Town- 
send's is good. For a specimen of the meta- 
physical method, see Lambert's Tacttcs of 

y^njxdels. The arguments may not always 
command assent, but they are invariably 
acute. 

(c) It may be thought absurd to prescribe 
a Dictionary, but it afibrds good discipline to 
study the articles in Thomson's Dictionary of 
Philosophy; Fleming's Vocabulary of Philosophy, 
and Taylor's Elements of Thought. 

(5) Use and do not abuse the principle of 
authority, — ^A great many of our opinions, con- 
victions, and beliefs are not the result Anthoritf. 
of our own personal investigation ; we receive 
them on the word of others. This is what is 
meant by the principle of authority. Some of 



96 THE ART OF THINKING 

us are not mathematicians clever enough to 

measure the distance of the Sun, but we have 

no hesitation in accepting the pro- 

tha testimony nouncement of the Astronomer Royal 

of othan. . « , 

on such a matter. In the same way 
the non-Sanskrit scholar reads the Bhagavat- 
Gita in a translation on the authority of 
the translator; we believe the sea is five 
miles deep off the coast of Japan, although 
we have never measured it ; and that Mount 
Everest is the highest of the Himalaya 
range, although we have never set foot upon 
Indian soil And we are none the less in- 
telligent, because every day we are accepting 
statements of fact on the authority of others. 
The use of authority is the use of reason 
itself. What is to be avoided is the danger of 
extremes — either a senseless credence or an 
untrained scepticism. There is a story told of 
seheinerand & certain monk named Scheiner, who 
the sun spota. contested with Galileo the honour of 
having been the first to observe spots on the 
Sun. Writing to the Superior of his Order, 
Scheiner explained the nature of his discovery, 
but was astonished to have the following reply : 
''I have searched through Aristotle, and can 



THE ART OF THINKING 97 

find nothing of the kind mentioned ; be assured A/ 
therefore, it is a deception of your senses or \ 
your glasses/' * ^ 

Here we have an instance of the possibility 
of paying an unreasonable deference to a great 
name. Galileo in Italy: Descartes in ^ ^ ^ 

'^ ' The bondage 

Holland ; and Bacon in England, each of Aristo- 
felt the bondage of Aristotelianism, per- 
haps not always in the same way, but they 
were made to feel it all the same. Bacon says : 
''Antiquity deserves that man should stand 
awhile upon it to view around which is the best 
way, but when the discovery is well made, they 
should stand no longer, but proceed with cheer- 
fulness. And to speak the truth, anti- Baeonsami 
quity, as we call it, is the young state ^^* 
of the world; for those times are ancient 
when the world is ancient, and not those we 
vulgarly account ancient by computing back- 
wards; so that the present time is the real 
antiquity." t So much for an opinion on the 
authority of the past. On the general subject 
of this section we cannot do better than listen 

* Baden Powell, History 0/ Natural Philosophy^ p. 171. 
t E. J. Dewey, Physical and Metaphysical Worhs of Lord 
Bacon, p. 49. 



98 THE ART OF THINKING 

to Sir G. C. Lewis who says, " General sound- '^^ 
ness of opinions will be promoted by the pre- 
sip G. c valence of a free exercise of private 
Lewis's Idea, judgment in cases where the means of 
arriving at a correct conclusion exist. But in 
a large number of subjects, and in multitudes 
of practical questions, an independent judg- 
ment is impossible or inexpedient, and a great 
part of practical wisdom consists in the judicial 
selection of authorities, and in a steady re- 
liance upon their opinion. * That man,' 
thinkiiig fop says Hesiod, ' is the most excellent who 
can always think for himself. He, too, 
is a good man who will take some advice from 
others. But he who can neither think for 
himself, nor will listen to the sound advice of 
others, is a worthless man.' " * 

This sums up the position very well If a 
man has not the ability to form an independent 
judgment on any matter he deems to be im- 
portant, let him follow those guides who can 
Anthopityin show the greatest reason for their posi- 
reUffion. ^Jqjj j^ ^jjjg connection religion has"^ 

always assumed a prominent place. Is it a 

subject we can deal with ourselves ? or is it to 

* Influena dfAuthoriiy in Matters o/OpMm, p. 79. 



THE ART OF THINKING 99 

be dealt with for us by a clerical expert? 
Bewildered by the multitude of contending 
sects and parties, one man cries : '* Some 
authority must be found to decide what is 
truth/' He fails to see that there is 
almost as much intellectual responsi- bufty^ta ' 
bility in choosing his authority as there ^*^*J2* *■ 
is in deciding what is truth. But this 
point apart, since religion has mostly to do 
with conscience and conduct, and since these 
are parts of every human character, it is quite 
possible for each man to be his own authority. 
In other matters we may have to contend with 
the general rule which exhorts us to choose 
that authority (whether a book or a man) which 
secures the greatest intellectual majority. 
Sug'g'estions. 
(a) Read: 

G. C. Lewis, Influence of Authority. 
A. J. Balfour, Foundations of Belief 
"Authority and Reason "(Longmans). 
A. Helps, Friends in Council. " On 

Conformity " (Smith, Elder). 
J. Martineau, Authority in Religion 
(Longmans). 
(^) Take Newman's Apologia and trace the 



loo THE ART OF THINKING 

influence of authority in shaping the course of 
his intellectual history. Write an essay on 
Tiiatwo ^^^ subject, comparing the Cardinal's 
Mewmani. position with that of his brother Francis 
in Phases of Fatth, and both with Mill's Auta^ 
biography. 

{c) Study the lives of Spinoza, Descartes, 
Kant, Darwin, and Huxley. 

These names represent interesting stages of 
the place which authority has found in human 
philosophy. 

(6) Define your terms and beware oj the^ 
treachery of words. — " Must we be always seek- 
On woFdi. ing after the meaning of words ? " is a 
question asked in Tooke's Diversions of Purley^ 
and the reply given is : " Of important words we 
must, if we wish to avoid important error." 
Yes; but what is an important word? The 
answer does not come quite readily. Let us 
Two exam- take two: humanitarian zxA by. There 

»'«■• does not seem to be very much in the 
preposition 6y, but hear what Herbert Spencer 
says. '' The word byv&z, highly abstract word 
—so abstract that we are apt to overlook the 
relation having at least two terms invariably 
implied in it Its intrinsic connotations are 



THE ART OF THINKING loi 

lost in the remote past, but its extrinsic conno- 
tations, abundantly obvious, will suffice us. 
Originally the word means ^near' or speneeron 
'close* as 'to sit by/ 'to pass by.' "^^' 
Proximity being the root notion, there come 
the secondary notions of proximity with agency, 
either subjective or objective, as in ' hit by a 
stone,' ' broken by me.' " * A word, then, should 
be looked at from the standpoints of etymology 
and history, but most of all from its power to 
alter the meaning of a sentence and change the 
line of thought. Theology has had its trials 
over the little preposition which Mr. Spencer 
expounds at great length. 

Mr. R. G. White thus explains the other 
word. "A Humanitarian is one who ^ ^ ,^., 

R. G. White 

denies the Godhead of Christ and insists defines a ha- 

TT* 1 VT • mftnltftpiftn- 

upon His human nature. • • • Humani- 
tarianism used in the sense of widely bene- 
volent and philanthropic is mere cant, the 
result of an effort by certain people to elevate 
and appropriate to themselves a common feeling 
by giving it a grand and peculiar name.'*t 
It may be urged that these references belong 

* PHndflts ofP^chology, vol IL p. 33a. 

f7ords tmd tkiiit Uses. c. vi 



los THE ART OF THINKING 

to liietoric rather than the art of thinking. 
That is not so. A man thinks before he speaks 
or writes ; at least he ought to do so. And 
the meaning he gives to words in speech 
or prose is the meaning they have in his 
thought How necessary, therefore, is word- 
Bacon on Study to the student, for as Bacon 
word* says : " words still manifestly force the 
understanding, throw everything into confusion, 
and lead mankind into vain and innumerable 
controversies and fallacies."* 

For instance take crUidsm and inspiration. 

We have heard arguments numberless on these 

CriUeismand ^^^ subjects, and confused from the 

inipiraUon. beginning to the end by the lack of a 

few preparatory definitions. And there are 

some words demanding more than ordinary 

attention because they are the key words to 

great intellectual positions. For these the 

reader should always be on the look out. 

Rules ftyp Meanwhile the following rules are well 

ffuidanee. ^orth observing. Define your terms 

but (i) do not undertake to define all words, 

because this would often be useless and often 

impossible. (2) Do not change received defini- 

* Uomm Ofganum, Aph. 43. 



THE ART OF THINKING 103 

tions when we have nothing to complain of 
in them. (3) In defining a word we ought 
as far as possible to accommodate ourselves 
to custom in not giving to words a sense 
altogether removed from that which they- 
have, and which might be even contrary to 
their etymology I • 
Suggestions, 

(a) The possession of Chambers' EfynuH 
logical Dictionary f Lloyd's Encyclopedic DiC" 
iionary, or some such work is absolutely 
essential. Read and use 

^Jrcnch, On Words (Kegan Paul). 
,^ ^hite, Words and Their Uses (Low). 
. ' Davidson, Leading and Important Eng-- 
^ lish Words (Longmans). 

Ryland, Locke on Words. 
^ ^oget. Thesaurus (Longmans). 
{li) The study of terminology of all kinds is 
indispensable. Of course technical terms are 
abused just as all others are,t but speak- xeehnieai 
ing generally, terminology is the salva- ^w™*- 
tion of clear thinking; for to have a science 

* Port Royal Logk, p. 84. 

t G. C. Lewis, M§thod of Obsirving tmd Rtasoning l» v,.f 
PoUUa, p. 94. 



I04 THE ART OF THINKING 

of terms is to have that which connects 
language and thought more closely together, 
and therefore efiects more exactness and cer- 
tainty.* 
The popular mind uses opposite and contra- 
Words In ^^ctory interchangeably. That use we 
•• !»!».•• know is confusion. We should advise 
the drawing up of a list of such words. For 
example : 

Subjective Objective 

Infinite Finite 

Abstract Concrete 

Theoretical Practical 

Theological Religious 

Necessary Contingent 

And not only words that usually go in pairs^ 
but important words in Philosophy such as 
Knowledge, Sensation, and Perception. 

(7) Lastly^ remember the dose connection 
between good health and ckar thinking. — One 

Health and c&i^i^ot ^o better than echo Sydne}' 

thooffht Smith who said, " I am convinced that 

digestion is the great secret of life, and that 

character, talents, virtues and qualities, are 

powerfully affected by beef, mutton, piecrust 

* Jevons' Logic, PhilosophiiiX Languagi. 



THE ART OF THINKING 105 

and rich soups." The influence of health 
upon thought cannot be easily over-estimated. 
Livery and bilious thinking is no figment of 
the imagination; it is a physiological The liver, 
fact. The slightest bodily affection will some- 
times give a turn to one's reflections. ''It 
has been said, and not without truth, that we 
think differently when we are lying down and 
when we are standing up; a constrained or 
cramped position of the body has a depressing 
effect upon the spirits • • • rage is Lotze'sidea 
quieted by muscular repose, and it is a dictate 
of prudence to get an angry man to sit down 
in an easy chair." * But it is not with psycho- 
physiology of this kind that we are concerned 
here; it is with health and thought as swift,De 
seen in the lives of Swifl, De Quincey, ^"^^eey. &e. 
Coleridge, Carlyle and many others. The bio- 
graphies of these men are now well known, 
and it is evident that their physical habits and 
conditions greatly affected their mental outlook. 
And yet we are not able to say how, except in 
a very general sense. At least this is what 
most of us feel, but a new school of mental 
scientists is arising in our midst who claim that 

* Lotce, Microeoimus, voL li p. 28. 



io< THE ART OF THINKING 

erroneous ideas may be traced to special 

organic irregularities. Sir J. Crichton Browne 

_ ^ says that those persons who believe in 

Bppop and '' ^ 

brain irresa- Reincarnation suffer from a species of 
abnormal brain action.* Max Nordau, 
viewing the decadent literature of the age, puts 
all the blame upon bad health, degeneracy of 
nerve and brain.t We may not agree with 
these opinions but we are bound to agree with 
the general statement that to think clearly it 
is most important to live healthily. 
SuggesHons. 
Read and observe : 

Yorke-Davies, Health in the Active and 

Sedentary (Low). 
H. Thompson, Diet in Relation to Age 

and Activity (Wame). 
Tissot, Health of Men of Letters (1772). 
V Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy (Chatto). 
Smiles, Life and Labour (Murray). 
" The literary ailment.'' 

* Dreamy Menial States, Cavendish Lecture. 
+ Degeneration. 



CHAPTER VII 

CONSTRUCTIVE THINKING 

" What a young man should aim at is to 
acquire a habit of binding things togethtr 
according to thiir bonds of natural affinity,^* 

John Stuart Blackib. 

By constructive thinking we mean a weaving 
together of the results of experience (in its all- 
embracing sense) into a complete and system- 
atic whole; or it might be defined as that 
process of thought which, when we have 
learned what is fact, we proceed to inquire 
into reasons and causes, in order that our 
knowledge may embrace things in their Bntipe know 
entirety. We are all constructive i^^are. 
thinkers more or less, perhaps less than more, 
inasmuch as every day we are taking the 
threads of experience and weaving them into 
theories. Thoughts gathered from books and 
in the course of conversation: convictions 



io8 THE ART OF THINKING 

which are the harvest of ripened observations 
and, it may be, bitter disappointments ; impres- 
sions coming to us in Wordsworthian foshion, 
we know not how or whence ; * ideas gained 
as the result of definite creative effort — ^all 
these form the material which the constructive 
mind uses to frame its philosophy. Be that 
Constrae- philosophy profound or shallow, full of 
tive moodt. t^ith or full of error, there can be no 
doubt that every mind has its constructive 
moods; times when it tries to reconcile the 
discrepancies of life, to discover the secrets of 
nature, or find out some means of accomplishing 
a desirable end. It is a mood which should be 
encouraged until it becomes habitual. 

The purpose of this chapter is to create a 
desire and provide an effective medium for 
that kind of thinking which discovers, recon- 
ciles, and systematizes. The aim is high, but 

Difflcoitiesto ^^ ^^ °^^ blind to the difficulties in- 
be faeed. yolved. We know that every construc- 
tive effort has to face the inevitable exception ; 

* Think yon, 'mid all this mighty snm 
Of things for ever speaking, 
That nothing of itself will come. 
But mo must still be seeking ? 



THE ART OF THINKING 109 

that a small error can upset the best system 
ever conceived ; and that the elements which 
resist analysis will always be with us. Still 
there are boundless possibilities open to the 
earnest mind — the story of the world's past is 
in constant need of a fresh setting, and j^ooqi f^p 
in philosophy, art, science, literature, o^ginaiity. 
and poetry, there is ample room for origin- 
ality. 

These remarks, however, refer to the general 
question — ^they scarcely touch those particular 
points on which the reader is perhaps anxious 
to hear something. Constructive thinking, 
though in a sense self-explanatory needs ^ mustra 
individualizing in an example. Let us ^^ 
take one of the simplest kind. A traveller once 
stood on a bridge over a railway station, and a 
train drew up at the platform. He noticed at 
once that the roofs of the carriage were dripping 
wet, a fact which occasioned much surprise, 
for the weather had been unbroken sunshine 
for weeks past, and at that moment the sky 
was cloudless. Here, then, his constructive 
thinking began. What was the cause of this 
strange phenomenon? The first hypothesis 

was that of a shower of rain; but that was 

I 



no THE ART OF THINKING 

dismissed as being in the highest degree im- 
probable. At this point he noticed that the 
sides of the carriages were ahnost dry, indica- 
stepg to % ^^S ^^^ ^^ water on the roofs had not 
aoneinston. come in the manner of a shower of rain. 
The traveller puzzled his mind further until it 
suddenly struck him that most likely the wet 
condition of the train was due to water drop- 
pings from the arch of a tunnel; the idea 
gained strength as he remembered a journey 
through a North of England tunnel; and on 
inquiring at the station he found his surmise 
was quite correct. 

This may be taken as an elementary sample 
of those cases which, thousands of times, the 
events of life present to us unasked. In some 
instances the matter is of no consequence, as 
in that just referred to; but in others the 
issues are full of moment. It may not be true 
Newton and ^^^^ Newton began to think about gravi- 
gravitation. tation on seeing the fall of an apple, but 
the story has a certain didactic worth. The 
fall of the apple was the fact observed — ^the 
starting-point of constructive thought. From 
that point to the finished statement of this 
great law there is almost an infinite number of 



THE ART OF THINKING in 

suggested explanations — attempts at solution 
onsiderations of the possible and probable 
nd at last a discovery of the truth. 
We wish now to throw out a few sugges- 
tions as to mental procedure in matters of this 
kind. 

(i) Be perfectly sure of your facts. — ^Nothing 
can atone for slipshod work in this Faets. 
department If you are engaged in forming a 
new theory of literary criticism or a working 
h3rpothesis for the explanation of ghosts,* be 
certain that you are dealing with truths about 
which there is no doubt. Every worker in 
every field of research needs this constant 
reminder. The scientist and the theo- 

A needftd 

logian, the political economist and the remindept* 
social reformer, the historian and the 
inventor, all these are none the worse for an 
occasional warning on this subject. Of course 
facts may be divided into many classes, and 
the acutest observer in the realm of nature, or 
the finest insight in the sphere of history may 



\ 



* Viii Podmore'i Apparitions and Thought Tva%$fmnc$, 
The last chapter is a good example of the careful handling 
of facts and theory. See also " Possibllitiet of mal< 
obeerration" in ProitHUngs 5. P. R. vol. iw. 



113 THE ART OF THINKING 

be deceived. It is culpable negligence alone 
that is unpardonable. If, howeveri this one 
question be asked and faithfully answered: 
what are the jacts? it will rid us of much 
hasty generalization and all its fatal conse- 
quences. 

(2) Acquire ike art of classification. — It is 
scarcely possible to exaggerate the importance 

ciassifleattoD. of this section, so much depends on the 
way in which we diyide things into classes. 
The term is scientific, but *'to classify is no 
secret of science, no process reserved for the 
select few who are initiated into a magic art 
• ... it is as universal and necessary as the 
act of thinking. The classifications of common 
life may be as rational and useful for the ends 
of common life as are those of science for its 
special objects." • Thus we divide our fellow 
men into classes. One class is according to 
ciassiflea- nationality, another refers to culture, and 

ttons of men. ^ third to wealth. Chiefly, however, we 
classify men according to character. Now 
since such a process when it is finished may 
be acted upon, thus influencing our conduct, 
and because a classification helps or hinders 

* Porter, Tki Hmum InUiUct, p. 999. 



THE ART OF THINKING 113 

the truth of our conclusions, it is therefore most 
necessary that we should exercise the greatest 
care in this grouping of our fellows. Suppose 
a thinker is about to construct a theory of 
human evil, its origin, its extent, and its destiny. 
Such a theory demands, first of all, a know« 
ledge of men and their doings; in the second 
place it demands a classification of men: in 
other words, it desiderates definitions of evil 
and of good| and what men belong to a theory «t 
each class. If the facts as he knows ®^^ 
them lead him to predicate goodness of the 
majority, it will afiect the theory in the direc- 
tion of hopefulness ; if, on the other hand, he 
says that Church communicants are alone 
good, the rest of mankind being bad, the 
theory of evil will be coloured accordingly ; 
for the greater number of people do not 
show the accepted signs of goodness. Lo- 
gicians have laid down the following rules for 
guidance : — 

(a) Be not deceived by appearances. 

(b) Aim at utility in every classification you 

make. 

(c) Let it contain the greatest possible 

number of assertions. 



114 THE ART OF THINKING 

(3) Learn the province 0/ analogical reasoning, j^ 
— ^When a little boy went to fish for the first 
tunei and, after throwing in the line, called 
Analogy. ''Fish! Fish!" he was reasoning by 
analogy, inasmuch as when he wanted his 
rabbits all he said was, ''Bunny! Bunny!" 
A laughable mistake to his seniors doubtless, 
but those seniors have been guilty of errors 
equally bad in higher spheres than the art of 
angling. Reasoning from analogy is one of 
those mental excursions the dangers of which 
itidang«Fs. are always dogging the steps of the 
man who is endeavouring to understand the 
unknown from the known. Its method is as 
follows : — Because two or more thmgs resemble 
each other in several particulars, we conclude 
that they may have more points of resemblance 
than we have yet discovered. Thus analogical 
FowieF'i reasoning is based on our ignorance, it 
^®w. ig thg result of a calculation of chances 
which an accession of knowledge may invali- 
date by either augmenting, diminishing or 
annihilating it.* Consequently it is a method 
which needs great caution ; experts are agreed 
that there is no way in which we can really 

* Fowler, IndncUvt Logic, p. 326. 



THE ART OF THINKING 115 

assure ourselves that we are arguing safely 
by analogy; what we get is the probabk not 
iht certain; the latter can only come by experi- 
ment. Thus when Hargreaves saw that some 
Australian mountains were like Cali- ^aio«y 
fornian mountains in which he had poinu to tht 
mined for gold, he reasoned that because 
they were alike in appearance they were probably 
alike in contents. Such reasoning was correct, 
6ut before experiment confirmed it, it was only 
probability, and the two mountain ranges might 
have had no other resemblance than that of 
appearance. 

Reasoning by analogy is best seen in 
scientific arguments about the planet Mars. 
There is good reason for believing that the 
darker portions of its surface are seas, and its 
lighter portions land. Each pole, too, xhe planet 
has a white patch round it suggesting the "**** 
presence of snow, a supposition strengthened 
by observation of the sun's influence upon them, 
since each patch decreases under the solar rays. 
Consequently analogy leads us to argue with 
strong probability that Mars, like the earth, 
has about its poles vast regions of ice and 
snow. 



ii6 



THE ART OF THINKING 



(4) Cultivate the constructive itHogination. — 
** Science does not know its debt to the imagi- 
nation/' said Emerson. Perhaps not when 
_ , the Concord Sage wrote those words, 

The eonstpae- ° ' 

ttveUnagina- but since Professor Tyndall published 

his Scientific Uses of the Imagination 
every one has become aware of the immense 
power which this much criticised faculty has 
exerted in the progress of knowledge. 

(a) Its first province is to assist the under- 
standing. Mr. P. G. Hamerton furnishes an 
Mr. p. 6. illustration : '' ' I cannot imagine why 
Hamerton. y^^ \\y^ j^ j^aly/ said a Philistine to an 

acquaintance, ' nothing could induce me to live 
in Italy/ He did not take into account the 
difference of gifts and culture, but supposed 
the person he addressed to have just his own 
mental condition." • It is this power of trans- 
ferring ourselves into the life-conditions of 
another, of detaching the self from its immediate 
Detaehinff environment, and placing it in surround* 
one's feif. jjjgg Qf ^ different type, that enables us 

to understand men and things of a new and 
separate order, or those of some period in the 



* Humcm InUtctmru, p. 271. 



THE ART OF THINKING 117 

past. For this reason Comte is a great his- 
torian.* 

(b) There is a constructive element in the 
imagination ; for, quite unconsciously, we en- 
gage its powers in the attempted dis- Suiiy*iview 
covery of something unknown.t But in most 
cases it is a deliberate act on the part of the 
thinker ; and whether he be a historian seeking 
to reconstruct the story of the world's past; 
an inventor bravely attempting to imagine his 
difficulties out of existence ; or a prophet with 
eyes upon the world's future, he gathers his 
powers together and endeavours to realise that 
which as yet is beyond his ken. The con- 
structive imagination "takes its start ^ ^ 

° Gosehen on 

from facts, but it supplements them theimaffina 
and does not contradict them. It . . • ^ 
probably presents truer pictures than those 
I afforded by knowledge of facts alone — ^vivid, 
^ truthful pictures, which knowledge of facts 
alone would not enable us to paint/'^ We 
have only to add that he who would excel in 

* Fiske, Cosmic Philosophy, vol L p. 165. 
t Sully, Th$ Human Mind, vol. L p. 375. 
t Gosehen, The CuUivation and Use of the Imagination, 

P'54 



ii8 THE ART OF THINKING 

discovery of any kind must learn the art of 
putting things together, not so much in reality 
as in imagination. The pages of science are 
full of interesting examples, and to these we 
recommend the reader's careful attention. 

(5) Master the rules and limits 0/ generaliza- 
tion. — ^What is it to generalize? First, look 
G«nepaiiza- *^ ^^^ word itself. The general is set 

tion. Qygi- against the particular; to generalize, 
therefore, concerns reflections upon a number 
of facts taken together, whilst to particularize 
refers to the selection of one fact. Thus, if I 
have a tooth drawn, and feel much pain, I 
generalize when I reflect that every other tooth 
drawn will give me pain also ; just as I infer 
that a glass of cider from a cask is represen- 
tative of the taste of the whole. 

Jevons gives an example by saying that 
stones, pieces of wood, metal, ice, leaves, 
An example feathers, scraps of paper, clouds, smoke, 
from Jevons. steam and dust, however different they 
may be, agree in one thing that they fall to the 
earth. If on seeing a stone fall we generalize 
that all falling things must have solidity we are 
too hasty ; further observation reveals the fact 
that things not solid fall, for example, air ; the 



THE ART OF THINKING 119 

true generalization is this, that things which 
resemble each other in being tnaterial, will also 
resemble each other in the property of falling 
to the earth. 

In a few instances there is an ossification of 
the septum of the heart in horses and oxen. 
Aristotle heard of this and forthwith Aristotie'i 
argued: "The heart is destitute of ®"^'» 
bones except in horses, and a species of ox; 
these however, in consequence of their size, 
have something bony as a support, just as we 
find throughout the whole body." The mis- 
take is too obvious to need explanation. The 
present writer remembers a country youth, 
whose knowledge of railways was very 
limited, staring with open mouth at a of aeountry 
departing train. " Hoo is't ? " he said, ^^ 
" She niwer whistled ! " A few questions ex- 
plained his position. He had never seen a 
train leave the station without whistling — 
so that whistling, followed by immediate 
motion, had become connected together in his 
mind until he thought their connection was 
mechanical; that is to say his observations 
were limited to those occasions in which, when 
the engine whistled, it immediately started off 



ISO THE ART OF THINKING 

on its journey. From these observations he 
inferred that when the engine whistled it could 
not remain stationary ; and further that before 
moving it must whistle. Hence his surprise 
when the train left without the usual signaL 

(6) Observe those physical and menial con^ 
diiions which foster the constructive mood. — In 
The mnttnio- ^^^ sense there is no frame of mind 
tivemood. ^hich is constructive: a man's brain 
has either that tendency or it has not. But 
things seen, heard, or thought sometimes start 
us on a line of meditation, so fascinating that 
we say the constructive mood is upon us. Thus, 
sehiUer. a newspaper paragraph set Schiller's 
genius at work and he produced Cabale und 
Uebe. A brass lustre pendant from the vaulted 
roof of Pisa Cathedral had been left swinging 
Gaiuea by a verger. It caught Galileo's eye and 
set him thinking, the result being that the 
world learned how to measure time by the 
medium of a pendulum. But even genius has 
sometimes to resort to expedients to produce 
the inspiration necessary for good work. A 
few of these are worth looking at, not for their 
educational value, but because of their bio- 
graphical interest When Cicero wished to 



THE ART OF THINKING 121 

speak well, he read Latin and Grecian poetry ; 
Alfierii preparatory to writing, would listen to 
music; a habit which can boast the disciple- 
ship of Milton and Lord Bacoii. In order 
to concentrate their thoughts, Malebranche, 
Hobbes and Comeille darkened their apart- 
ments. Zola, curiously enough darkened his, 
though for a different reason. 

These examples are sufficient to show that 
there are physical and mental conditions which 
either help or hinder the mind in its work. 
Since, however, these are to a large extent 
individual, it is not possible to treat them in 
an orderly and scientific manner. Each man 
is a law unto himself. 

Rousseau, in composing his celebrated ro- 
mance, has referred to the influence of Rousseaii. 
his portfolio ribbons, fine paper, brilliant ink 
and gold sand. On the other hand Robert 
Louis Stevenson gloried in his almost g. i^ stev«B- 
unfumished study, and the absence of "^^ 
books and other surroundings of the literary 
man. 

Let a man love his subject, and continually 
feed his affection with suitable supplies, and 
be will soon find out those habits and methods 



199 THE ART OF THINKING 

which predispose the mind to do its required 
work. 

We cannot close the expository part of this 
chapter without referring to some specific 
methods of synthesis. If a number of obscure 
facts are awaiting an explanation, begin your 
Thoatoityof Studies with what appears to you to be 
thooriM. /j^ ^^/ theory. Cramer gives an in- 
teresting iUustration from Darwin's career: 
'' A sigh of relief is embodied in the declara- 
tion, ' Here, then, I had at last got a theory 
by which to work/ {Life and Letters^ vol. i. 
p. 68.) Facts cannot be seen without some 
notion of the relation they will bear to each 
other when they are found. The stupendous 
Darwin's importance of theory for observation is 
tMUmony. illustrated by the eflFects of Darwin's 
theories on biological investigation in all 
its phases. Huxley put it thus : ' The 
" Origin " provided us with the working hypo- 
thesis we sought The whole biological 
world was waiting for it ; and when it came 
it carried the biological sciences into the deduo--*^ 
tive stage, and opened an era of investigation 
unprecedented in the rapidity with which dis- 
covery advanced, and the accuracy of the 



THE ART OF THINKING 123 

results reached." * What is good in science, 
is also good, as a method, in all other fields of 
research; the marvel is that the working 
hypothesis, hinted at even in Aristotle, should 
have existed in comparative idleness until this 
century. 

The method which associates itself ThoHefftiian 
with the names of Fichtc and Hegel is ft>"n«^ 
expressed in the threefold formula : 

Thesis 1 « , . 
A . ,^ • r Synthesis. 
Antithesis J 

Perhaps the best commentary — apart from 
the works of Hegel and his disciples — is to 
be found in those who have employed the 
formula.! It has been said of Dr. George 
Matheson, that ''one of the characteristics 
of bis style is to begin an argument by laying 
down two apparently irreconcilable principles 
and then proceeding to reveal some hidden 
harmony." ''Here," we find him fre- Matheson's 
quently saying, " are two views which uiuatrations. 
at first sight appear utterly contradictory and 
antagonistic but let us look deeper, and we 

* Method of Darwin, p. 130. 

t Space does not permit of an extended treatment. See 
articles in Fleming's Vocabulary o/PhUosofhy, 



194 THE ART OF THINKING 

shall discover a truth that will harmonize 
them." * This method of reconciliaium^ as we 
may call it, has been greatly productive of 
systems in various branches of philosophy 
and theology. We would refer the reader to 
Matheson's Aids to the Study of German 
Theology^ Can the old Faith live with the New ? 
and The Psalmist and the ScientisL\ 

Plan of Study. 

(i) The first requisite is a thorough com- 
indiwttoii. prehension of induction: its means, 
dangers, and errors. Read : 

Darwin, Life and Letters (Murray). 

Fowler, Inductive Logic (Clar. Press). 
Jevons, Logic (Macmillan). 
Mill, Logic (Routledge). 
(2) For classification, read the sections on 
that subject in the above-named works. For 
cimssifleatton. practice begin with a classifying of 
"motives" as they are worthy or unworthy, 
healthy or morbid, and so on. The work is 
not inviting, but it is capital exercise for the 
analytical powers. 
(3) The study of analogical reasoning will 

* TU Tkinkert vol. ii. p. 329- 

t See also Zenos, Elmtnts of the Higlm CHHeUmt p. 109. 



THE ART OF THINKING 125 

be furthered by reading the following 

Analogy. 

works : 
-Linton, Chapters on the Art of Thinking (Kegan 
Paul). 

Whewell, Philosophy of Discovery, 

Dnimmond, Natural Law in the Spiritual 
World (Hodder). 

Butler, Analogy (Routledge). 

Bagehot, Physics and Politics (Kegan Paul). 

Comparison, too, is a part of this subject, 
and Lloyd Morgan's Comparative Psychology 
will be found helpful. It is also good practice 
to trace an idea through a series of subjects, 
e,g,^ Grammar as seen in Painting, Literature, 
Geography, Science, and Elocution. 

(4) For the Imagination, read : Xmagination. 

A. J. George, Wordsworth^s Prefaces (U.S.A.). 
'yndall, Scientific Uses of the Imagination (in 
Fragments of Science) (Longmans). 
• Goschen, Cultivation and Use of the Imagi- 
nation (Arnold). 

(5) A careful reading of the story of Science 
and Inventions is the best training in generaliza- 
tion; not forgetting the technical rules sdenoeand 
laid down by the logician. There are ^▼^^tion. 
many good books on Darwinism, but that by 

F. Cramer on the Method of Darwin is, for our 
purposes, as helpful a manual as can be found. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THOUGHT IN ITS MORAL ASPECTS 

" Jf onrf cMim must Ugin with a change 
m tki way of thmhmg, and wUh the ftrnmir 
ingoja cAarMter."— Kant. 

The Orientals have a theory that thoughts are 
things composed of a certain kind of '' spiritual 
substance/' and are capable of being transmitted 
from one mind to another. Hence a man 
who thinks bad thoughts all day long is 
Thesnbstaneo filing the intellectual atmosphere with 
of thought odious exhalations to the detriment of 
his fellows. *'The more pure thought there 
is/' says the Orientalist, ''the less likely are 
men's brains to be invaded by evil ideas, 
and when unscrupulous thinkers have ceased 
to exist the long expected reign of purity will 
begin." We are not disciples of this Eastern 
Philosophy, but we are disciples of that teach- 
ing which says that mental action is capable of 



THE ART OF THINKING isy 

moral consequences. When the imagination 
is allowed to run riot the injury is moral as 
well as intellectual One pities the „ . ^ 

'^ Hopal and 

poor h3rpochondriac who is afraid to inteUeetiia] 

walk abroad lest some tame animal '"^' 
should devour him, and the madman who 
imagines he is William the Conqueror or 
Charles the Bald; but just as an overstrain 
may beget abnormal mental conditions, so 
may an indulgence in libidinous fancies work 
sad mischief in debasing character. This 
is what the Hebrew writer meant when he 
said: "Keep thy heart with all dill- Keep thy 
gence, for out of it are the issues of ^^^^ 
life." There is a close relationship between 
thought and action. Many of those hostilities 
which have taken place between rival parties 
in Sciencei Religion, and Politics have been 
the outcome of prejudiced or careless reason- 
ing. The progress of Science may be hindered 
by personal jealousy ; one wrong argu- 
ment may wreck the interests of a thinking mai 
church; and the peace of a country 
may depend on a major premiss. Thinking 
and acting therefore are in such close con- 
nection that it may almost be said, What 



isS THE ART OF THINKING 

a man thinks, that he does. At any rate it 
is safe to afiSrm, What a man thinks, that 
he is. 

(i) For instance, there is that kind of 
thinking which is intimately associated with 
The art of ^^le art of happiness. It is such an occu- 
happiness. pation of mind as that described by 
Lowell in his essay, " My Garden Acquaint- 
ance." Like Gilbert White, he possessed the 
Lowell and alchemy which enabled him to trans- 
GUbert White, mute the commonplaces of a robin's life 
into the excitement of a romance. Whilst 
thousands were growling at this howling 
wilderness of a world, he was bubbling over 
with intelligent delight as he watched the 
growth and development of insects, or 
marked the effect on Nature of the tempera- 
ture's rise and fall. Happiness may not be 
an end to be sought for in itself, but it 
is nevertheless a desirable condition of life 
and one which to a large extent depends on 
some species of mental occupation. Thus to 
look into the doings of Nature after the manner 
of The Natural History of Selbome is to have 
** an innocent and healthful employment of the 
mind, distracting one from too continual study 



THE ART OF THINKING 129 

of himself, and leading him to dwell rather 
upon the indigestions of the elements than his 
own." Indigestions! Life is full of them; 
and although the gospel of work preached by 
Zola and Tolstoi is not perhaps an all- zoia and 
sufficing remedy, it is nevertheless a ^®^*«*- 
great factor in multiplying the experiences 
which go to make up happiness. " Something 
to think about," •* something to occupy one's 
mind": these are phrases we hear almost 
every day; they set forth the consciousness 
of a real mental need, and hold a prominent 
place in the prescriptions of the medical 
man. Let those who suffer from ennut) or 
are pessimists in spite of themselves,* Enmii 
turn their attention to the discovery of a 
soul-stirring interest, a pursuit that is mind- 
absorbing, or some form of unselfish mis^on. 
The world can ill spare the efforts of either 
its moral or religious representatives. 

(2) Then we learn that what is intellectually 
vicious may be morally wrong. The man with 
bitter prejudices is not only unfitted for right 

• "Pessimism is a voice from the laden heart more 
than a scheme from a vigorous mind." Forsyth, ReUgion 
m Rtcmt Art, p. 249* 



ijo THB ART OF THINKING 

thinking ; he is just as likely, as not, to act In 

Wronff think- * questionable manner. If he has a 
inff : wroiiff bias against members of a certain pro- 
fession, that bias is sure to show itself 
in his dealings with them. Should he be on 
the jury, and a member of the said profession 
be the prisoner, it is easy to see how a vicious 
habit of thought might result in an unfair 
vote. Wrong thinking and right practice do 
not usually follow in the order of sequence. 
The Christian creed contains a clause which 
is as true in philosophy as it is in ethics: 

Think eharit- Think chariiably. Not only do we gain 
****^' in the spirit of brotherhood by so doing, 
but we obtain one of the first conditions of 
intellectual vision. " Charity hopeth all things ; 
believeth all things." He who has this love 
of humanity is far more likely to obtain 
true estimates of men and things than the 
man who measures them by rigid rules and 
theories. 

We have said that thoughts readily become 

Feelings often actions. It is not so with feelings. A 

self-satisfied, certain percentage doubtless soon realize 
themselves in deeds, but feeling has a tendency 
to luxuriate in itself, and with that to be 



THE ART OF THINKING 131 

content. This applies particularly to those 
emotions which contain intellectual elements, 
and predispose the thinker towards a kind of 
intellectual anti-nomianism. The reader will 
do well to avoid that employment of mind 
which enervates by feeding on itself, rather 
than stimulates by suggesting helpful courses 
of action. '* Every time a resolve, or a fine 
glow of feeling evaporates without bear- 
ing practical fruit is worse than a chance James's eriu 
lost ; it works so as to positively hinder 
future resolutions and emotions from taking 
the normal path of discharge. There is no 
more contemptible type of human character 
than that of the nerveless sentimentalist and 
dreamer who spends his life in a weltering sea 
of sensibility and emotion, but who never does 
a manly concrete deed. Rousseau, inflaming 
all the mothers of France to follow nature and 
nurse their babies themselves, while he sends 
his own children to the Foundling Hospital, is 
a classic example." * 

(3) Closely allied with the above is the 
thinking that is dangerous to character, espe- 
cially the altruistic part of it. The links 

* James, Principles of Pttyekology, vol. L pp. 125, 126. 



ijfl THE ART OF THINKING 

between creed and conduct have been made 
Wharodut *^^ during past years, but there arc 
rmetarmay some links which nothing can break. 
It does not matter what a man believes 
about the planet Mars, but it is important 
for those with whom he does business that 
he should believe in the virtue of honesty. 
His views on the subject of a fourth dimen- 
sion will not affect his neighbour's life for 
good or evil, but his views on the social 
order might turn bliss into misery. And 
there is a species of reflection which is without 
moral significance ; there is another species the 
effect of which is extremely prejudicial to good 
life. Mr. W. L. Sheldon says '^ the tendency 

A timely ^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ increase for men who 
nttenuiee. jjj^yg become broad in their views, as 

they shake off former convictions, as they 
enlarge the scope of their knowledge, in the 
same degree to sit back as it were in a kind 
of philosophic calm, leaving the world to take 
its own course, and find its own way out of 
its difficulties . . . there is a kind of ration- 
alism that is dangerous to character."* This 

* JntmmaiioHal Journal o/Btkia, voL L p. 12& 



> 



THE ART OF THINKING 133 

is a timely warning from one wlio has himself 
adopted broad views. Any gospel which 
thrusts a man out of active connection with 
his fellows should be condemned as Gospels of 
unsound. A moral result is of greater ^^^^^ 
importance than an intellectual sanction ; and 
however true a theory may appear to be, it 
must be judged by its consequences rather 
than by its symmetry and logical order. 

A review of what has been said in this 
chapter will show that there is need of 
guarding against two contingencies. Two danffopt. 
The first is that kind of thought which fier^ 
verts action, such as entertaining a prejudice, 
and feeding a corrupt imagination; the second 

is that kind of thought which destroys ^ 

" Ponropslon 

action, such as the static moodiness and destruo- 
of the sentimentalist, and the inertia ^^°' 
of him who is content to be a mere spec- 
tator. The excellence to be coveted is the 
thinking which is helpful to action. In one 
man it will be an interest in affairs, covet hoip- 
in another a love for the good of Mnese. 
humanity, and in yet another the revealing 
of Nature's secrets; let it be what it may, 
so long as it is there and faithfully nurtured| 



134 THE ART OF THINKING 

it will be well with the life of which it is a 
fundamental constituent. To learn the art of 
thinking is something ; it is more to learn the 
art of living. 



y 



CHAPTER IX 

THE COMMERCIAL VALUE OF TRAINED 

INTELLIGENCE 

** If English business is going to hold its own, it has got 
fiurly to tingle with brains." — M. E. Sadlbr, M.A., in 
71k^ Kin^s Weigh House Lectures to Business Men, 

There are three questions involved in a dis- 
cussion of this subject : the first is, '' What is 
meant here by Intelligence?" the second, 
'' What is trained Intelligence ? " and the third 
is, " What are the evidences of its commercial 
value?" 

(l) It might seem superfluous to occupy 
any space with the first question, seeing that 
in the foregoing chapters the thinking ^^f^^ intdm- 
faculty has already received some atten- *®"^°® means, 
tion. But the general notion of Intelligence is, 
that it is synonymous with Mind or Brain, and 
this is not the notion we wish to entertain; 
in fact, we desire to show that here the word 
Intelligence means the powers of the mind 
plus the powers of the senses. In sheer 
mental acumen few men have surpassed the 
schoolmen of the Middle Ages, but they could 
have written almost all they actually did write 



136 THE ART OF THINKING 

even if they had been blind, or deaf, or had lost 
the sense of touch. Their work was confined 
entirely to the domain of ideas. Now the 
Intelligence we have to deal with in this con- 
nection is not only Brain power, but the power 
Miiiii pjga of observation, of trained hearing, and 
tiM stniai. Qf ^ disciplined touch ; it is man's facul- 
ties exercised in such a way as to make him 
equally alive to things he can see, and to the 
thoughts he can think. A thinker is usually 
regarded as an expert in thinking pure and 
simple, and so far this is right ; but that man 
who evolves ideas out of what he has seen or 
1 heard is no less a thinker than the man who 
/ L ' evolves them out of the depths of his conscious- 
ness. The word Intelligence, therefore, sets 
forth those powers which we know as the 
Brain and the Senses, and it is the training 
of these powers on which we claim there is a 
distinct commercial value. 

(2) As already indicated, the art of think- 
ing has been too narrowly conceived. Brain 
^^^ . culture by means of logic and mathe- 

trained matics is both excellent and necessary ; 
Intelligence 7 

but what is wanted is a greater degree 

of tuition for the senses of hearing, sight, and 

other avenues to knowledge. Observation — 



THE ART OF THINKING 137 

the tutored eye — is at the basis of nearly all 

commercial enterprises; the successful man 

notices small details which escape the eyes of 

othersi and he brings his mental faculties to 

bear upon these apparent triflesi with results 

that soon bring wealth and fame. 

It may be freely acknowledged that there 

are men whose minds are trained for other 

than commercial pursuits: why not? 

The non- 
Take the mathematician to whom the oommerdAi 

mysteries of the calculus are as a tale 
that is told. He is a scholar whose astro- 
nomical researches are of service to man the 
world over, and, in spite of his avowed pro- 
fessionalism, commerce owes a debt to him 
which it has not been slow to pay. But here 
our point of view is different. We are trying 
to find what kind of mental training is of 
most value in business, and we find it con- 
sists of a broad culture which will include the 
training of brain and senses ; neither the one 
nor the others, considered separately; for 
then we should get the abstract teacher — like 
the poet and philosopher, or else we should 
have men like the mechanic and brick- Cental f. 
layer, whose work demands manual ™«*'>«i"WJi' 
more than mental skill. A trained Intelli- 



138 THE ART OF THINKING 

gence is one in which human faculties are 
quick to receive impressions from without 
and develop ideas from within ; one that can 
concentrate its attention on difiSculties and 
solve them ; and one that can reason from the 
known to the unknown. These words may 
carry a transcendental atmosphere with them, 
but they are by no means formidable; for 
when an eating-house proprietor notices that ^ 
a certain district is not well provided with 
places of refreshment, and sits down to count 
the cost, and devise ways and means to 
supply the want, he is receiving impressions 
from without and developing ideas from 
within; and when, further, he is confronted 
with the problem of finding the required 
capital, and estimating the probable profit 
accruing from the new venture, he is but con- 
centrating his attention on difficulties and 
solving them, and passing from the known to 
the unknown. 

It will be urged that an eating-house pro- 
prietor is scarcely a good representative of 

trained Intelligence. But why ? Pos- 
Tralned In- 
temgencein sibly he may lack the ability to write 

a grammatical letter, and show other 

signs of defective education; but these are only 



THE ART OF THINKING 139 

surface matters, although important in their 
place. " Wonderment is often caused at the 
success of a man who, in the academic sense, 
is quite uneducated, but who is gifted with a 
clear brain, keen observation, great mental 
activity, and common sense."* There need 
be no wonderment, for the best brains always 
win, other things being equal ; and the object 
of a manual like The Art of Thinking is 
not to create Intelligence, but to direct its 
activity. More and more the race is to the 
swift and the battle to the strong; hence 
training, even by mere books, cannot be 
despised, and the youth who would make 
a way for himself can ill afford to ignore 
the smallest contribution towards his well- 
being. 

(3) One need not spend much time in 
gathering evidences of the commercial value 
of trained Intelligence. Let us take a TheMoseiy 
section of the Report of the Mosely oommisBioiL 
Educational Commission. The quotation is 
from Mr. W. C. Fletcher's article, p. 121, and 
we would refer readers to the graphical repre- 
sentation on page xi called "The Money 
Value of Technical Education." 

* Business Success^ by G. G. Millar, p. 24* 



I40 



THE ART OF THINKING 



The figures refer to the staff of the Rapid 
Transit Raikoad Commissioners of New York 



College 
Trained. 



Chief Engineer 
Deputy „ . 
Division Engineers 
Assistant 
Roadmen 
Axemen . 



it 



I 

I 

5 

93 

33 
II 



Noa-CoUege 
Trained. 



2 

i6 

12 

19 



Percentage 
College 
Trained 



lOO 
lOO 

71 
85. 

73 
37 



^-if-^ 



The table speaks for itself and needs little 
comment. Trained IntelligencCi that is, trained 
in early years for special work, occupies 
everywhere the most responsible positions. 
But, it will be argued, it is not necessary 

What about ^^^ ^ ™^^ ^^ 8^ ^^ college in order to 
ooueges? jjg ^ successful draper, or a good stock- 
broker. The reply to this argument is that 
it does not matter so much how and where a 
man obtains the required training: the main 
fact is that he must get it somehow. The 
coming of the college-trained man simply 
means that a new force has arrived. He 
brings to business, it may be, a native ability 
that in any case would have made him suc- 
cessful ; but if his academical course in the 
class-room or the workshop has added a 



THE ART OF THINKING 141 

quicker insight and a more educated judgment, 
then he is likely to accomplish in five years 
what other men only accomplish in ten. True, 
experience is the greatest teacher of The teaoung 
all, and no amount of college facility o'®^eri«nca 
can be substituted for practical work in any 
particular business ; but, where education has 
been adapted to one special end from early 
years, there is bound to be a mental fitness 
which average education, even if coupled with 
some experience, cannot produce. In ad- 
vertising — a department of expenditure which 
next to the quality of goods is of first im- 
portance — the really trained mind and eye 
will always have the advantage. The art of 
thinking, therefore, is not an item for Thi^wtig fw> 
leisure hours only; it is part and ■'^▼^« 
parcel of one's daily life, and with all those 
who have to work for a living, resolves itself 
into a factor for multiplying the means of 
obtaining bread and butter. 



\ 



CjHAPTER X 

CONCLUSION 

'* Tki §nd we aim at must be knotm befbm 
the way."— Jban Paul. 

We have now to recapitulate. At the begin* 
ning we stated that it was our intention to 
teach the art of thinking apart from the Reeapitaia 
technicalities t)f psychology and logic. ^^ 
It is quite possible that u> many we have failed 
to accomplish our purpose, but the reader will 
bear us out when we say that there are few 
technical terms in the preceding chapters, and 
that, as a whole, the arguments and illustrations 
are such as can be understood by those who 
have had an average education. And if we 
have not succeeded in giving a compressed 
view of those principles and practices in which 
the art of thinking consists, we shall endeavour 
in this chapter to give such unity to these 



THE ART OF THINKING 143 

things as will enable every student clearly to 
comprehend the whole. 

We commenced with the declaration that 
there is great need of a thought-revival. Of 
this there can be no doubt. Scrappy reading 
A tho1]gll^ ^^^ ^^ thinking seems to be the order 
revival, ^f ^he day. But what is the first step 
a reformer should take to bring about a better 
state of things ? How can he stir dormant intel- 
lect into activity ? There are more ways than 
one, but for ourselves we thought it best to begin 
with an outline of the thinking faculty, and m 
the chapter bearing that title we discussed 
FMiing, Intel- ^^^lingi intellect, and will, and their 
ieet,andwiil. inter-relations, adding also a section on 
the laws of thought. We then passed on to 
consider how thoughts are bom and the mind 
furnished with ideas. "Use your eyes and 
ears: in a word, observe. Reflect upon what 

Thought pro- y®^ ®^ » ^^^ ^^ * critical and crea- 
dueUon. ^iyg mind the best books; cultivate 

enlightened conversation; and, as opportunity 

serves, travel^ and see the world of men and 

things." 

How to think correctly was then dealt with. 

Negative rules came first: what to avoid as 



144 THE ART OF THINKING 

dangerous. At great length we treated of 
prejudice, that bugbear of all true thought 
We saw how birth and nahonaliiy could blind 
a man to excellent things beyond the Pmjudii 
borders of his own country ; how temferutneni 
pre-disposes us in favour of some theories and 
against others; how the Iheorisi was open to 
the danger of squeezing facts to fit his hypo- 
thesisy and how an unintelligent conservatism 
can obscure the beauty of newly discovered 
truth. Along with the dangers of prejudice 
we discussed the dangers of emotion. Dangen of 
Pride^ fear^ sympathy^ and admiration «notion. 
were considered in turn as to the way in which 
they magnetized the mind from the orbit of 
correct thought. At the same time we pleaded 
that emotion had a rightful place in all true 
thinking. 

Positive aspects were then studied. The 
importance of method was emphasized, also 
the necessity of acquiring the art of concentra- 
tion. The laws o/evidencevrert next dwd.t General raiM 
upon, followed immediately by sections on 
drawing distinctions^ the use and abuse of 
authority, the treachery of words, and the need 
of health. 



THE ART OF THINKING 145 

The positive element proper was dealt 

with in the chapter on constructive thinking. 

Attention was called to the necessity of being 

sure about facts^ and of a true system of 

constraetive classification; reasoning from the known 

^****'^^*- to the unknown by analogy , and the use 

of the constructive imagination came in for 

brief notice ; we also had something to say on 

careful generalization and conducive moods for 

An ethieai i^cntal productiveness, closing the chap- 

▼i«w. tgf by citing examples of synthetic 

methods. A few words on the moral aspect 

of thought, and on the commercial value of 

trained intelligence^ brought our investigations 

to an end. 

The questions we have attempted to answer, 
when put in tabulated form, are as follow : 

The Mind. 

(1) What is it ?— Chap. II. 

(2) How is it furnished ? — Chap. III. 

(3) How can I think correctly? — Chaps. 

IV., v., and VI. 

(4) How can I think creatively ? — ^Chap. VI. 

(5) How can I think morally ?— Chap. VIII. 
We conclude with one request. Regarding 



146 THE ART OF THINKING 

this little book for the moment as a prescription 
for thoughtful habits, we feel bound to urge 
that before the reader casts the prescription 
away as useless to cure the mental ills from 
which he may suffer, he will do us the honour 
of a careful triaL 



APPENDIX 

AN ADDITIONAL LIST OF BOOKS FOR 

THINKERS 

Among literary productions, nothing offers an 
easier target for criticism than a book list. 
The compiler lays himself open to the omission 
of a reader's favourite authors, and thus pro- 
vides "copy" for long and grievous com- 
plaints. A second reader finds his speciality 
omitted altogether, and he turns away dis- 
gusted. A third reader, who perhaps believes 
in one book only, growls at the number put 
down on the list, and declares his scepticism 
that so many could possibly be digested, 
darkly hinting that authors and publishers 
conspire together to defeat the aims of true 
learning. However, if it be necessary, as it 
seems to be, to define and defend our object 
in submitting a book list, let it be said at 
once that we confine ourselves to books that 

suggest new thoughts to thoughtful minds. 

147 



148 THE ART OF THINKING 

Some of the volumes recommended are " no 
picnic"; they are hard reading, and mean 
close study. Others are of lighter calibre, 
but none the less useful. At the same time, 
some regard has been paid to price and 
general suitability for unprofessional readers. 
The best book on any particular subject is not 
necessarily the work of the greatest authority 
on that subject, or published at the highest 
price. For the purposes of this list the best 
book is the work of the man who can write 
so that untechnical readers can follow him. 
Sometimes, as in the case of Professor Huxley, 
the expert is the best popular writer; but it 
is not always the case. Lastly, a book list is 
a sort of literary menu, from which we can 
select the fare that pleases us best. If we 
have succeeded in satisfying all palates in 
moderate degree, our labour will not have 
been in vain. 

In the Mental Sciences, we would ask 
attention to the following : — 
J. Royce, Outlines of Psychology, 
A. Sidgwick, The Process of Argument (A. & C 
Black). 




^kf 




APPENDIX 149 

\ £. H. Lecky, A Survey of English Ethics 

(Longmans), 
rman Lockyer, On the Influence of Brain 
Power on History (Macmillan). 
W. T. Marvin, An Introduction to Systematic 

Philosophy (Macmillan) 
A. E. Taylor, Elements of Metaphysics 

(Methuen). 
J. R. Illingworth, Personality: Human and 

Divine (Macmillan). 
I Brough, The Study of Mental Sciena 
(Longmans). 

On the broader lines of a philosophical treat- 
ment of life and its phenomena we suggest 
the following : — 

W. H. Hudson, Rousseau and Naturalism in 

Life and Thought (T. & T. Clark). 
C. H. Pearson, National Life and Character 

(Macmillan). 
rl Snyder, New Conceptions in Science 

(Harper). 
James Orr, David Hume and his Influence 

on Philosophy and Theology (T. & T. 

Clark). 
. H. Hutton, The Influence of Christianity on 

National Character (W. Gardner). 




r 



ISO THE ART OF THINKING 

Brierley, Ourselves and the Universe (J. 
Clarke & Co.). 
rl Hilty, Happiness (Macmillan). 
^V. E. H. Lecky, J%e Map of Life (Longmans). 
William James, Ilie Varieties of Religious Ex- 
^ perienu (Longmans). 

R. G. Moulton, The Moral System of Shake- 
speare (Macmillan). 
Oliver Lodge, Modem Views on Matter 

(Froude). 
Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the 
Popular Mind (Unwin). 

Politics and social affairs are increasingly 
before the public eye, and inquiring readers 
will find food for reflection in the following 
books : — 

Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws (G. Bell and 
Sons). 
-•-H. Sidgwick, The Development of European 
Polity (Macmillan). 
D. G. Ritchie, Darwinism and Politics (Son- 

nenschein). 
J. Bascom, Sociology (G. P. Putnam's Sons). 
— C. Letoumeau, Sociology j based upon Ethnology 
(Chapman & Hall). 



APPENDIX 151 

,>€X S. Loch, Methods of Social Advance (Mao- 
millan). 
^^,^7^, E. H. Lecky, The Political Value of History 
(Arnold). 
S. Buxton, Handbook to Political Questions of 
the Day (Muiray). 

In Religion and Theology one or two 
treatises have already been referred to, and 
we add the following : — 

^,^--81 H. Mellone, Converging Lines of Religious 

Thought (P. Green). 
J. Martineau, A Study of Religion (Clarendon 

Press). 
Leo Tolstoy, My Religion (W. Scott). 
^,.^. C Starbuck, Psychology of Religion (W. 

Scott). 
R. M. Wenley, Contemporary Theology and 

Theism (T. & T. Clark). 
O. Pfieiderer, Rational Theology (Sonnenschein). 
JiV. R. Cassels, Supernatural Religion (Watts 

and Co.). 
W. H, Mallock, Religion as a Credible Doctrine 

(Chapman & Hall). 
"^ Oxford Tutors," Contentio Veritatis: 

Essays in Constructive Theology (Murray). 



159 THE ART OF THINKING 

Percy Gardner, ExpioraHo Evat^eUca (A. & C. 

Black). 
J. R. Seeley, Eae Homo (BiacmiUan). 

Among literary, artistic, and miscellaneous 
productions, the list subjoined gives a repre- 
sentative collection : — 

^. Brieriey, Essays in PhUtsHa (J. Clarke & Co.). 
^. P. Holden, Audiences (U.S.A.). 

A. Tollemache, Stones of Stumbling (Whit- 
taker). 

A. Tollemache, Safe Studies (Whittaker). 
T. J. Hudson, The Law of Psychic Phenomena 
(Deacon). 
G. Montefiore, Liberal Judaism (Macmillan). 
C Waldstein, Art in the Nineteenth Century 
(C. J. Clay). 

B. Bax, Outlooks from the New Standpoint 
(Sonnenschein). 

--^W. B. Worsfold, Judgment in Literature (Dent). 
— G. S. Lee, The Lost Art of Reading (G. P. 
Putnam's Sons). 
R. Gamett, Brownings Essay on Shelley, 
Georg Brandes, Main Currents in Nineteenth 
Century Literature (Heinemann). 
-^ S. L. Wilson, The Theology of Modern Literature 
(T. & T. Clark). 



APPENDIX IS3 

H. Joly, The Psychology of the Saints (Wash- 
bourne). 

»W. J. Henderson, What is Good Music f 
(Murray). 

H. C. Beeching, The Study of Poetry (Cam- 
bridge University Press). 

M. Elaufmann, Utopias (K^an Paul). 

'A. P. Call, Power Through Repose (Low). 

W. Hazlitt, Essays (Warne). 



THS END 



Printed bgr Ballantynb, Hanson &• Ca 
Edinburgh ^ London 



A NEW BOOK OH THE STUDY OF TOLSTOY 

With a Complete Bibliography and fine PhotograTore 

Portrait 

LEO TOLSTOY 

A BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL STUDY 

By T. SHARPER KNOWLSON 

Author of 
'* The Art of Thinkias," " The Art of Succen/' &c 

In crown 8vo, cloth gilt, gilt top, price 28. 6d. net 

Post free, 2s. 9d. 



In view of the great interest that has been taken in the 
works of the great Russian Author and Reformer in recent 
years, many may be seeking a work giving more detailed 
mformation respecting him. This book is intended to supply 
this want. It is designed to give a clear account of his Life, 
his Books, his Teachmg, what the world thinks of him, and 
is concluded by an Essay on ** His Probable Influence in the 
Future." Mr. Knowlson's volume is supplied with the most 
complete Bibliography of Tolstoy extant. 

PRESS OPINIONS 

" Mr. Knowlson is an exponent of so much information that 
his little book serves invaluably for literary and biographical 
reference. " — Academy, 

"Critical insight and wide reading are revealed in Mr. 
Knowlson's pithy comments on Tolstoy." — Methodist Recorder, 

"A handy and careful volume— with the intelligence that is 
better than mere enthusiasm, and his bibliography enriches the 
book immensely." — Pail Mall Gazette, 

"Mr. Knowlson has given us a book at once clever and 
interesting. It should be widely read." — Liverpool Mercury, 



Full Prospectus on application to the Publishers 

FREDERICK WARNE AND CO. 

London New York 

15 Bedford St, Strand 36 East aand Street 



A MEW EDITION, THE 60ih THOUSAND 

IS JUST ISSUED OF 

JOHN BUSKIN: His Life and Teaching. 

By J. Marshall Mathbr. \^th Bibliography and 
Portrait In crown 8vo, cloth gilt, gilt top, price 2s. 6d. 
net, post free, 2s. lod. A Popular Edition in Paper 
Covers b also issaed, price is. net, post free, is. 3d. 

" // would be dtjficult to obtain a mart lucid and comprehend 
sive idea of John Rushin and his life worh in a small compass 
than can he assured fy a careful study cf this admiraJble little 
monograph, * In its revised and enlarged form »* says The 
Spectator, ' the booh is a most excellent aid to the understanding 
of the very nature of the great art critic and philoMpher^ as well 
as of the brilliant productions of his pen, Mr. Mather only 
claims for his little volume that tt is an outline if Rushin's life 
and teaching intended for those who are purposing a careful and 
detailed sttufy of his worhs, but it is so excellently done, with so 
firm a touch and so clear a perception of essentials^ that to those 
who have no time for the detailed study referred to, it will give a 
most useful t interesting^ and just idea of the great teacher and 
his worh:'* 



STORIES FROM DANTE. By Norley 

^ Chbstbr (Emily Underdown), with a finely executed 

Steel Portrait of Dante printed on Japanese Vellum 
and Eight Full-page Illustrations by Gustavb Dor^. 
In crown 8vo, cloth gilt, gilt top, price 2S. 6d. net, or 
post free, 2s. lod. 

"The little volume is a clever achievement of a difficult 
thing . . . We cannot commend it too warmly." — Tablet, C^ 

' ' Stories of this kind are worth many volumes of the juvenile 
literature of the day."— Weekly Sun, 

"This book, like * Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare,' should 
be welcomed by older people as well as the young, for whom 
the author primarily intended them. Told in purely classic 
simplicity of language, clear, and yet perfectly explicit, the 
author sets forth the ^st of the ' Divina Commedia ' in a way 
that gives an interest m, and a stimulus to know more of the 
master she so plainly loves, and in no way loses any of the 
spirituality of his masterpiece." — Ladies* Field, 

Full Prospectuses of above Volumes on application to the 

Publishers 

FREDERICK WARNE AND CO. 
London New York 

15 Bedford St., Strand 36 East sand Street